Raising organic pigs on free-range complies well with consumer expectations and support the organic principles of natural living.
Free-range access may also reduce the need for inputs but managing pigs free-range can also be challenging in terms of biosecurity and land requirements. Across Europe, free-range access is declining in organic farming. The ROAM-FREE project will examine the possibilities for mixed production systems of pigs with other livestock or crop production to offer a alternative framework to solve some of the issues with free-range systems while supporting farm self-supply of feed and biodiversity. In ROAM-FREE, existing mixed free-range pig systems will be identified by partners in Norway, Denmark, Romania, Italy and Slovenia to cover the diversity in climate, disease risks as well as local traditions and different economic frameworks.
The primary objective of ROAM-FREE is to investigate how mixed free-range production systems can improve animal robustness, environmental and economic sustainability and biodiversity in organic pig farming, and thereby support a wider adoption of organic farming across Europe.