Horizon Europe project launch: innovative livestock farming systems

Published on
October 20, 2022

The Circular Food Systems (CiFoS) team - part of the Farming Systems Ecology group at Wageningen University & Research - will participate in the Horizon Europe Re-livestock project, an international research consortium. The kick-off meeting will take place on november 17th.

The overall objective of the Re-livestock project is to evaluate and mobilize the adoption of innovative practices applied cross scale (animal, herd, farm, sector and region) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the capacity of livestock farming systems to deal with potential climate change impacts.

Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation. The Re-livestock project has a total budget of 13.5 million euros and will last 5 years, starting September 2022.

Bringing disciplines together

Re-Livestock will bring together scientific expertise and co-innovation across different disciplines, including animal feeding, breeding, welfare, farm management, environmental and socio-economic assessment and policy analysis. The aim is to develop novel integrated approaches for different dairy, beef and pig systems and different geographic regions, in the context of climate change.

The project is led by CSIC - Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, from Spain, and has a total of 37 partners from 14 different European countries and from Australia, bringing together a large network of actors from different livestock value chains.

What will the WUR team do?

The CiFoS team is co-responsible for coordinating work package 6 “Re-design of circular food systems”, which will officially start in January 2023. This work package will develop a novel suit of models to explore the resilience of European production systems under different climatic conditions and mitigation and adaptation practices.

In order to do this, the CiFoS model – a global bio-physical food optimisation model that accounts for circularity - will be integrated with the climate vegetation model LPJmL, and extended with the mitigation and adaptation practices proposed by the working packages “Re-breeding livestock for resilience” (WP2), “Re-feeding livestock for resilience” (WP3) and “Re-managing at the farm level for livestock resilience” (WP4).

The outcomes of the CiFoS model will then be linked to a spatial allocation model to give a spatially explicit indication of the impact of livestock on production cycles and planetary boundaries. In addition, to shed light on new food systems redesigns within planetary boundaries, the outcomes of the modelling work will be used to develop a game to support participatory processes of roadmap development together with European stakeholders.

Broad collaborations

Strong collaborations with industry stakeholders to identify the innovations, and to co-design the validation process, will ensure relevance and maximise the adoption of best practices. National groups of farmers (case studies) and ‘stakeholder forums’, together with a ‘European multi-actor platform’, will allow for an engaged co-design of transition pathways, whilst ‘learning from innovation networks’ will allow for the testing and sharing of innovative solutions. ‘Communities of practice’ will extend the multi-actor approach to a broad range of stakeholders.

The project will develop 13 national case studies, covering pigs, dairy and beef cattle systems, distributed by different regions in Europe. A dual scale ‘Agroecology-Sustainable intensification’ & ‘Mitigation-Adaptation’ will be used. Case studies will be led by industry partners/collaborating stakeholders, in collaboration with a project facilitator, who will organise workshops and lead discussions to identify problems and solutions around the adoption and implementation of innovations. Learnings from different case studies will be clustered and shared in order to understand if innovations can work in different geographic and socio-economic contexts.

Who are in the consortium?

The consortium integrates farmers associations (AEANI, PFLA, PROVACUNO), livestock feeding companies (DSM, AGRIFRIM), a seed company (Barenbrug), animal breeding companies (CRV, PIC, ANAS), a precision livestock company (PCH), advisory organisations (ICOEL, CONSULAI, Barenbrug), universities (UNIBO, UPV, UREAD, WUR, SLU, AU, UCD, UNIPI, QUB, AERES, UEX, BOKU, UQ) and applied research institutes ( CSIC, WR, SRUC, FIBL, PIK, MVARC, ORC, Agroscope, IRIAF) and an intergovernmental organisation (CIHEAM-Zaragoza).

More information

For more information contact the coordinating team:
CSIC - David R. Yañez-Ruiz |
WUR – Hannah van Zanten (WP leader) | Alejandro Parodi (WP coordinator) |
Demi Hordijk (PhD candidate) |