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AHDB Pork Blog

The EU Innovation Group by Charlotte Evans

The EU Pig Innovation Group (EU PiG) is a consortia of European pig research, knowledge transfer and producer partners that have formed a collaborative network to coordinate and share findings and best practice on technical production. Charlotte Evans, Technical Senior Manager, Pork, tells us about the journey so far. 

undefinedThe idea was simple, we knew projects were being duplicated by organisations all across Europe, and the findings were not being effectively communicated to producers, so for the benefit of the whole industry, we decided to come together and stop spreading ourselves so thinly. 

Ironically, I heard that we’d received the go-ahead to proceed with our grant preparation for our EU PiG innovation Group (EU PiG), on the very same day that Brexit was announced! Despite mixed feelings about Brexit, the group, which consists of 19 organisations representing 13 EU Member States, hasn’t wavered in enthusiasm at all, and I’m thrilled to share that, as soon as we get a signature on the grant agreement, we are ready to get started. 

So what are our key objectives? We want to link up all our resources so we can focus on finding answers to the most important topics. We need to infiltrate networks of producers to uncover then share the most up-to-date information. A big part of our work will be evaluating different practices in terms of cost-benefit. And lastly, we have to measure the uptake of new ideas and ensure we use the best communication routes. 

We will address the above questions over four years; two topics per year on each of the four themes: health management, welfare, precision production and meat quality.  We will ask producers if they have specific topics they would like investigated, then the core thematic groups will look at the literature, case studies and best practices from across Europe. 

Economic evaluation will, of course, underpin all of this work to make sure the advice we offer, follows sound economic judgment. Dissemination will occur through a number of different routes, but one plan is for regional groups to identify innovative producers, then link them up and have mini competitions. 

So that’s EU PIG. It’s very much a ground-up initiative, connecting people and keeping focus on fewer things to make progress a reality. To me, it’s all about knowledge transfer and that why I’m so excited to be part of it. I hope you will follow us on the journey. The AHDB Pork website will be the place to visit for updates.


By AHDB Pork at 5 Oct 2016, 11:20 AM


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