About SustAinimal

Last changed: 03 June 2022
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SustAinimal is a center promoting increased knowledge in the production animals’ role for competitive, sustainable and resilient agriculture and food production in Sweden.

The world faces many challenges, ranging from climate change, biological diversity, circular systems, to sustainable growth. To achieve our goals with Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement, the questions surrounding food must be solved. As it is today, the food production system is responsible for 20-30 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions.

Production and consumption of food needs to change from the ground up. Sweden is included in these much needed changes as its food production is responsible for a quarter of climate emissions, particularly from the animal production sector. Researchers and the agricultural sector are already working together intensively in order to find solutions to improve this for the future.

For successful change to occur, it is necessary that we approach complex problems with the entire picture in mind, take the pros and cons into account, create models that help us see connections and effects, and study and evaluate these models. SustAinimal plans to lead this effort.

SustAinimal is a center, financed by Formas and participating partners who together will increase the knowledge regarding the role that production animals can have in the future food production system, and be the leaders in the development of a resilient, sustainable, and competitive food production system in Sweden.

SustAinimal is an education center and meeting place where the university, businesses, authorities, and stakeholders from the production system share knowledge from their different subjects, fields, and backgrounds and also generate new knowledge. It is designed to be a forum where we ask current and difficult questions in order to collectively find solutions.

Today, nobody knows how the Swedish food production system will be in the future, what we do know is that research must lead the way for a proper shift to occur. And SustAinimal will follow the direction of the research.

SustAinimal is an education center and meeting place where the university, businesses, authorities, and stakeholders from the production system share knowledge from their different subjects, fields, and backgrounds and also generate new knowledge. It is designed to be a forum where we ask current and difficult questions in order to collectively find solutions.

Currently SustAinimal has 17 partners with a broad representation, from universities, research institutes, industry organisations, and businesses. During the spring 2022, SustAinimal will start to invite more participants to actively contribute in our stakeholder forum and to join us as partners.

Read more regarding our partners

Research and innovation for an adjustment that enables profitability, and a sustainable food system with a broad representation.

The future food systems sustainability, competitiveness and resilience depends on the ability of agriculture to make a living from the production of healthy food. SustAinimal has a mission from Fomas to contribute to the objectives set by the national food strategy, and to look at the profitability for the entire supply chain, from farms to processing and sales.

SustAinimal should increase the knowledge surrounding the role animals can have in the future food system by studying how much food is produced for the food system and the impacts on the ecosystem, as well as measure the value against the farms’ impact on the environment and climate.

SustAinimal will also look at the food systems’ ability to deliver food and services if something unpredictable happens, such as extreme weather or another unforeseen crisis. The research will focus on innovations for adjustments that will enable profitiabilty, sustainibility, where many are involved.

The research will progress with the PhD students and other young researchers involved in the project wihtin SustAinimal Academy.

Today, the majority of Swedish farmland is used for the production of feed. SustAinimal will research how the land can be used to produce more nutrition, food, and important environment and societal values.

Sweden is a vast country with great differences in conditions for food production due to the weather, the type of soil, and the distance to consumers. SustAinimal will investigate the best solutions for the food production in Sweden with three regions initially in focus: Västerbotten, Västra Götaland och Skåne.

Currently, the majority of farmland is used to produce feed. SustAinimal will research how the land can be used to produce more nutrition, food, and important environment and societal values from both crop production and animal production.

The amount of natural pastures has reduced greatly over the past hundred years, leading to the loss of species that only exist only in these environments. Only grazing animals can keep natural pastures alive, and SustAinimal aims to investigate the importance of restoration and how to increase the use of natural pastures for cultivation systems and ecosystems.

The work within SustAinimal will initially focus on the large ruminants, dairy cows and cattle used for meat production but will eventually include all the animals used in today’s food system within our research.

SustAinimal wants to be a leading research center for decision makes and stakeholders in the food production system and is guided by the following aims:

  • SustAinimal wants to contribute to the development of competitive, sustainable and resilient agriculture and food production system in Sweden
  • SustAinimal stands on a scientific foundation and follows the direction of the research, even when facing an uphill battle.
  • SustAinimal looks at the food production system in its entirety to impact the complex questions and to find sustainable solutions.
  • SustAinimal is a place for open dialogue and a working space for various needs, perspectives and goals.
  • SustAinimal is characterized by research and partner collaborations between academics, companies, industries and authorities.

Facts:

Facts

SustAinimal is led by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences together with the research institute RISE and coordinated with the help of Vreta Kluster.

Time period of the project: 2020-2024, with the possibility to be extended an additional 4 years

Financial support: Formas invested 48MSEK. Other financiers/project partners contributed at least 8MEK

Center: Sveriges University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU

Director of SustAinimal: Sigrid Agenäs, SLU

Assistant Director of Sustainimal: Per Peetz Nielsen, RISE

Coordinator: Helene Oscarsson, Vreta Kluster

Participating partners: SLU, RISE, Statens Veterinärmedicinska Anstalt SVA, Uppsala universitet, Linköpings universitet, Högskolan Dalarna, Lantmännen, Lantbrukarnas Riksförbund, Hushållningssällskapet, Norrmejerier, KLS Ugglarps, Agroväst, Vreta Kluster, Växa Sverige, Gård & Djurhälsan, Naturbeteskött i Sverige Ideell förening och Svenska Vallföreningen.

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