Poultry and Pig Low-input and Organic Production Systems’ Welfare

The PPILOW project seeks to improve the welfare of poultry and pigs in organic and low-input production systems by involving all participants in the production chain in developing practical solutions and implementing them on a pan-European level. The participatory approach involves all stakeholders along the production chain and allows the identification and examination of welfare improvement measures that will form the basis of a set of best practice guidelines.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 816172


  • The Context

    Organic pig and poultry production is expanding globally to meet demand. But pervasive welfare-related issues remain, such as mutilations (piglet castration or beak trimming in poultry) and the elimination of one day-old layer male chicks.

    Slow Food is committed to advocating for sustainable and animal-friendly farming, which the PPILOW project aims to achieve through its multifaceted approach. By involving all actors in the production chain — from farmers to consumers and scientists to policymakers — the project designs assessment tools, innovative breeding and rearing strategies, and techniques for improving the health, robustness and welfare of animals.

    The project is rooted in the One Welfare concept, which recognizes the interconnectedness of animal welfare, human well-being and environmental health, and emphasizes that the welfare of animals, humans and the environment are mutually dependent and should be considered holistically in policy and decision-making.

  • Main Goals

    The PPILOW project aims to achieve the following objectives: 

    • Identify barriers to the welfare of organic and low-input outdoor-reared poultry and pigs by taking an inventory of farming practices that considers the priorities of stakeholders and citizens.
    • Co-create innovative breeding and rearing strategies to avoid mutilations, promote positive behavior and improve health and robustness in poultry and pigs.
    • Develop self-assessment tools to monitor animal welfare by enabling farmers and technicians to identify critical periods and implement corrective welfare management practices.
    • Involve practitioners, technicians and scientists in carrying out experimental tests to evaluate the potential of identified innovations.
    • Perform analyses to assess both the sustainability and the economic, social and environmental impacts of the most promising breeding and rearing strategies according to the One Welfare concept.
    • Ensure the dissemination and uptake of project findings through training activities, abstracts and close collaborations with national practitioner groups across the EU.
  • The Partnership

    PPILOW brings together 22 partners from 9 countries across Europe.

    This multi-actor consortium led by INRAE, involves:

    Organic and traditional farmer associations (AIAB, BioForum, SlowFood)

    Breeders (SYSAAF representing five French breeding companies including hatcheries)

    Nutrition firms (Fermentation experts)

    Animal housing designers (Vanggaard Staldmontage)

    Leading research and technical institutes (EV ILVO, Luke, CNRS, CRAW, Thuenen, ACTA)

    Universities (UU, AU, WU, HAU, UNIPG, JUNIA, USAMV)

    The European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP)

    Consumers representatives (notably via AIAB and Slow Food)

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