"Systems view is essential for a transition to sustainable agriculture" according to Evelien de Olde

Published on
September 24, 2021

The essence of a systems view was emphasized by Evelien de Olde and Aart van der Linden in an article where they look back on the successful project Animal Future. This recently finished international project AnimalFuture shows that collaboration between researchers based in several European countries can generate valuable insights in innovations and assess the economic, ecological and social sustainability of animal production systems and their innovations across Europe

Usually, I only study production factors. This project gave me the opportunity to consider a wide range of sustainability indicators.
Aart van der Linden on Groen Kennisnet

Animal Production Systems Group as project partner

Dr. Evelien de Olde was involved in the AnimalFuture project as case study facilitator working on Dutch egg production case studies. Dr. Aart van der Linden was involved in compiling the model library for WP3 and in simulating the effects of innovations on the sustainability performance of farms. Prof. Imke de Boer was coordinator of WP3 and mainly involved in quantifying the impact of innovations on the benefit-cost portfolio at farm level.

European dashboard as a result

Based on eight case studies in a wide range of geographic and socio-economic contexts one of the results of AnimalFuture is a dashboard that shows costs and benefits of innovations in animal production systems across Europe, e.g. as emissions or financial risks. This dashboard is still in progress.

AnimalFuture project

The project 'Steering Animal Production Systems towards a Sustainable Future' addressed the sustainability of European animal production systems by undertaking three main challenges:

  1. Which are the innovation practices applied in European animal production systems?
  2. How to measure sustainability of European animal production systems?
  3. How to measure the impact of innovation practices on animal production systems?

The project AnimalFuture was funded from 2017 to 2020 under the ERA-NET SusAn (Sustainable Animal production) scheme. The project brought together 8 partner institutions and developed research on the sustainability of European animal production systems. The project is now finished, but more results are still to come.