CLEARFARM
THE PROJECT
Improving animal welfare through precision livestock farming (PLF) technology.

Animal welfare has become a fundamental aspect of livestock production, but its assessment remains a challenge. ClearFarm proposes to use precision livestock farming technology (PLF) and integration of animal-based data to enable improved animal welfare across the entire production chain. This will contribute to improved sustainable pig and dairy cattle production, the two livestock production systems with the highest shares of livestock products in Europe.

Regulators, consumers and producers, among others, are involved in the design of the new solution, seeking thus a multi-actor approach in most of the stages of the project. In this regard, ClearFarm platform will provide animal welfare information, as well as other environmental and economic sustainability information that will assist production chain stakeholders and consumers on decision making within the pig and dairy cattle value chains.

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Animal welfare has become a fundamental aspect of livestock production, but its assessment remains a challenge. ClearFarm proposes to use precision livestock farming technology (PLF) and integration of animal-based data, based on blockchain approach, to enable improved animal welfare across the entire production chain. This will contribute to improved sustainable pig and dairy cattle production, the two livestock production systems with the highest shares of livestock products in Europe.

Regulators, consumers and producers, among others, are involved in the design of the new solution, seeking thus a multi-actor approach in most of the stages of the project. In this regard, ClearFarm platform will provide animal welfare information, as well as other environmental and economic sustainability information that will assist production chain stakeholders and consumers on decision making within the pig and dairy cattle value chains.

CONTEXT

Animal welfare awareness in society has increased notably in the recent decades and better animal welfare is within the major demands of consumers in the European food market. Consumers appreciate proactive ways to control animal health, and they rank efficient monitoring of animals and their housing conditions as highly preferred measure. It is interrelated in livestock production, which represents a major actor in the food industry.

To increase transparency of animal production, there is a need for reliable data on the welfare of farmed animals. This information can assist both consumers and producers to make decisions from a different perspective. Producers need to monitor the welfare status of animals with reliable and up-to-date information as early-warning systems, before implementing corrective and timely measures. Consumers are demanding clear information about farm animal welfare to assist them in identifying and choosing enhanced welfare-friendly products.

Recent advances in precision livestock farming (PLF) technologies allow systematic and automated monitoring of the welfare status of farm animals. However, there is still the need for an integration of the different aspects of animal welfare (i.e. health, nutrition, comfort, emotional state and natural behaviour) into edible information that could assist stakeholders to make decisions.


OBJECTIVES

The main objective of ClearFarm is to foster innovation to fully exploit the new technological possibilities to improve animal welfare throughout the production chain. Therefore, it will co-design, develop and validate a software platform powered by smart farming technology to provide animal welfare information, as well as other environmental and economic sustainability information.

  • Identifying the needs and requirements of consumers and producers about welfare awareness and future management approaches.
  • The development of new approaches based on innovative technologies that increase monitoring of behaviour, stress and other welfare indicators.
  • The adaptation of current existing technologies to a new approach that can assess those indicators, while ensuring the reduction of pollutants by economically feasible processes.
  • Designing new business models for consumers to identify and choose welfare-friendly products.
  • Contribution of all stakeholders to the building of a new animal welfare approach.

METHODOLOGY

ClearFarm uses an innovative approach to ensure a real involvement of all the stakeholders of the pig and dairy value chains.

ClearFarm starts from the needs and preferences of end-users (including producers and consumers but also regulators and researchers), through a market-driven analysis of solutions that can assist animal welfare monitoring, to ensure that the newly developed technological solutions fit into the market availabilities and requirements. The methodology of Design Thinking will be applied to provide a solution-based approach to solving problems, and allows to gather different relevant actors together, so that their needs, ideas and sensibilities are full represented.

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ACTIVITIES

Timeline

2019 Octubre 1

October 2019

Beginning of participative process with consumers, producers and other actors of the value chain of pig and dairy cattle products.

2020 Gener 1

January 2020

Market analysis on current precision livestock farming solutions and welfare policies.

2020 Març 1

February 2020

Co-development process of solutions.

2020 Juny 18

June 2020

Validation of welfare indicators in the pig and cattle chain.

2021 Abril 1

April 2021

Development of a platform to provide pig and dairy cattle welfare information.

2022 Maig 1

May 2022

Platform technical validation

2022 Setembre 12

Septembre 2022

Design of new business models