Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


TREASURE Report Summary

Project ID: 634476
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.2.


Reporting period: 2015-04-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Research and development activities are carried out for the benefit of sustainable pork chains based on European local pig breeds and their production systems. Work program is planned to respond to consumer demands for quality and healthiness of pork products with regional identity and societal demands for environment preservation and development of local agro-economy. Description and evaluation of local pig breeds, with an emphasis on untapped ones will be performed using novel genomic tools. Performance of local pig breeds will be evaluated in contrasted agro-geo-climatic conditions and production systems (indoor, outdoor, organic). Focus will be on pig feeding and management and on the use of locally available feeding resources. Intrinsic quality of traditional and new regional high quality pork products and attitudes of consumers from various market areas will be assessed; in particular the motives for the choice and willingness to pay such products. Marketing strategies will be addressed, esp. short chain distribution channels. All activities will be driven from the perspective of sustainability (environmental impact, animal welfare, product quality, consumer acceptability and market potential). The activities will engage innovative approaches to answer socio-economic demands of regional pork chains involving partners from different sectors. The ambition is to enhance existing and create new networks between academia and non-academia partners, within and between regions and to tackle the value chain for regional high quality pork products, focusing on so far untapped pig breeds, their production systems and pork products. Cross-fertilizing interactions between research, local agriculture, businesses and end-users will be achieved with partners from these complementary sectors in all research and development activities.
Main objectives:
• analyse phenotypic and functional properties encompassed in local pig breeds, esp. untapped, and develop DNA tools for authentication, traceability, conservation and breeding programs;
• acquire knowledge on pig nutritional requirements, use of locally available feeding resources, innovative feeding and management strategies and environmental impacts of pig production systems as components of the sustainability of local pork chains;
• build up eating quality and healthiness attributes of regional pork products in line with consumer demands including innovations in traditional products to meet healthy/high quality requirements, and identify links between intrinsic qualities and production systems;
• perform a cost/benefit analysis at different levels of the chain and for the society, and research of market potential and strategies for regional high quality products;
• efficient transfer of knowledge and expertise among chain actors, general public and policy makers, creation of platform for functional networks within/between regions and sectors, creation of new umbrella collective trade mark for the products.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In WP1 the activities in the first reporting period (RP1) were dedicated to the methodological setup and material collection. Phenotypic characterisation, collection of genetic material and extraction of DNA were performed to identify breed specific biological mechanisms responsible for their adaptive and productive traits (gene expression) and microbiota characterisation. Already available SNP genotyping data using the Illumina 60K SNP chip and other approaches was organized and the analysis of these data started. A “genetic tool”, i.e. SNP genotyping Openarray chip (with 32 SNPs) to estimate the allele frequency distribution of interesting major genes in local pig populations was designed. In WP2 (which deals with multicriteria evaluation of production systems with local pig breeds, their nutritional requirements, the use of locally available feeding resources and innovative management strategie) the activities in RP1 comprised the surveys with data collection and the conduct of the experiments with pigs. WP2 activities were key for the progress as they supply other WPs with data, DNA or tissue samples and products. In WP3 the quality toolbox for product characterisation was developed as one of the first results. Evaluation of intrinsic qualities of pork products has started in a variety of local breeds and production systems. The toolbox was also used when considering the quality traits for breeding programs (database). During RP1, WP3 partners developed the products (traditional and innovative) to be studied with novel technologies (NIRS, biomarkers, CT). Consumer acceptability of traditional and innovative products will be assessed as a next step. This activity is closely related to WP4, in which the activities of RP1 were focused on data collection for cost/benefit analysis at farm, product and society level, and on the preparatory work necessary to organise choice experiment with consumers. Part of WP4 activities concern also marketing strategies for a new umbrella trademark. In WP5, besides introductory activities on the concept of the trademark (round table, survey), the focus was on communication of project goals to raise general public awareness among stakeholders. It is worth mentioning that during RP1 partners prepared 23 abstracts with first preliminary results for IX Symposium on Mediterranean Pig (Portalegre, Portugal, 3-5 November 2016). WP6 served to effectively implement scientific/technical activities and to support the partners with administrative and financial aspects and to communicate with EC. In RP1, mnagement bodies and operational tools (web page, collaborative platform, management plan, data management plan, templates for internal reporting) were set and two consortium meetings held. Quality control committee (QCC) performed semesterly checking of project progress, ethical committee (EC) monitored the experiments to comply with legislation on the use of animals in experiments, whereas scientific committee (SC) monitored the progress of work and dissemination activities related to the project.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Research and development activities aim to improve knowledge, skills and competences necessary to develop existing and create new sustainable pork chains based on European pig genetic resources (local pig breeds). Activities focus on the genetic basis for their phenotypic singularity, adaptive traits, DNA markers that could be used in breeding programmes. Experiments are designed to improve knowledge about their nutritional requirements and to better exploit locally available feeding resources. The innovations to improve healthiness and quality attributes of products are tested with consumers and their motives to consume and purchase such products identified. Multicriteria evaluation of production systems, costs and benefit analyses at product, farm, and society levels and development of new umbrella trademark along with marketing strategies are important for the sustainability of local pig breeds. The key innovation potential of TREASURE resides in the idea that sustainable pig production systems can be built on local pig breeds, locally available feeding resources and traditional products which comply with societal demands for biodiversity, environmental protection, local food chains, animal welfare and consumer demand for high quality and health benefits of the products.

Related information

Record Number: 196395 / Last updated on: 2017-03-29
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