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Environmental and integrative farm-to-fork analysis for sustainable dairy and beef supply

Subproject of: COwLEARNING für nachhaltige Rindfleisch- und Milchversorgung (COw-LEARNING)

Project Leader
Hörtenhuber Stefan, Project Leader
#ConnectingMinds - Vollantrag
Type of Research
Applied Research

Further information: Environmental and integrative farm-to-fork analysis for sustainable dairy and beef supply

BOKU Research Units
Institute of Livestock Sciences (NUWI)
Funded by
Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF) , Sensengasse 1, 1090 Wien, Austria
A great current challenge is to limit climate change and adapt to its consequences, to secure a healthy diet and maintain an intact cultural landscape with high biodiversity. A shift towards a sustainable agricultural and food economy plays an essential role in achieving these goals, whereby sustainability also includes animal-friendly livestock husbandry and sustainable consumption practices. In Austria, with its high proportion of permanent grassland, cattle farming in particular is of high importance. The numerous sustainability innovations in Austria offer exciting case studies that can show paths of change far beyond Austrian and European borders.
The aim of the COwLEARNING project is therefore to find ways of achieving more animal-friendly, environmentally, economically and socially sustainable milk and meat production in a participatory, transdisciplinary approach involving all relevant actors and interest groups. COwLEARNING thereby combines expertise from the fields of social, environmental, agricultural and veterinary sciences on an equal level with the practical knowledge of all those groups of actors whose actions will decide in the future how we breed, keep and kill cattle, process, trade, prepare, consume and - hopefully not - dispose of their milk and meat. The sub-project of COwLEARNING carried out at the Division of Livestock Sciences at BOKU focuses on the multi-perspective integrative assessment of the status quo and of sustainability innovations in Austrian dairy and beef supply. This includes the management of the work packages on environmental assessment (Task 2.3 Drivers of past transitions – development of the environmental situation; Work Package 4 Environmental Impact Analysis). Furthermore, the integrative farm-to-fork assessment (Work Package 6) is used to work out which drivers are mainly responsible for the predominant sustainability conditions found for Austrian dairy and beef supply, which trade-offs occur and which synergistic effects can be achieved by specific measures. The sustainability innovations cases to be analysed as well as the indicators and weightings for the integrative analysis are defined with the support of practical actors along the entire supply chain.
Animal production; Sustainable agriculture;
Sustainability analysis; Life Cycle Assessment; Ecosystem services;
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