Description of organic pig production in Europe


With the aim to identify health and welfare strategies in organic pig production, a description of the different organic production systems was realized in eight European countries (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and UK). This description was based on the following features: numbers of organic farms and organic pigs, market shares, housing and management characteristics, feeding characteristics, main health problems and relevant differences to the EU regulation existing at the time of the project. The results were primarily based on statistics, country-specific regulations as well as on expert and stakeholder interviews. Organic farming and organic pig production are rapidly developing in European countries. The European country with the highest number of organic pigs is Germany. Organic pig production represents a minor part of the whole pig production in all surveyed countries. All features that were analysed varied greatly between countries with the most striking one being the housing of pigs that can be completely outdoors on pasture for most UK farms and always indoors with an access to an outdoor run, during part of their life, for most farms of German speaking countries.

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The present survey was part of the ERA-net CORE Organic project COREPIG ( The authors wish to thank all national funders for their financial support. We would also like to thank Marianne Bonde (Aarhus University, Denmark) who was coordinating the project.

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Correspondence to Armelle Prunier.

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Früh, B., Bochicchio, D., Edwards, S. et al. Description of organic pig production in Europe. Org. Agr. 4, 83–92 (2014).

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  • Organic
  • Pig
  • Housing
  • Management
  • Health