Journal article Open Access

Life Cycle Assessment of pig production systems of the Noir de Bigorre chain

Garcia-Launay, F; Rouillon, V; Faure, J; Fonseca, A

Outdoor pig production systems relying on local pig breeds may cope with environmental and socio-economic challenges. They produce high quality products with added economic value and rely mainly on local feed resources. Within the European TREASURE project, we conducted the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the Noir de Bigorre (NDB) pig production systems located in South West of France. The environmental impacts were calculated at farm gate and expressed per kg live pig and per ha land use. From surveys on 25 farms of the NDB chain and data collected by the chain, we estimated the flows and average live weights of animals produced as well as the average quantities of feeds distributed to the animals. Formulas of the complete feeds were collected from manufacturers. Climate Change (CC), Acidification (AC), Eutrophication (EU), Cumulative Energy Demand and Land Occupation impacts per kg of pig were in the range of the impacts of traditional systems previously studied. CC impact per kg pig was higher than in intensive systems due to the higher amount of feed needed to reach slaughter weight. AC and EU impacts per ha of land were relatively low. NDB pig farming systems exhibit LCA impacts typical of extensive and outdoor systems. Further studies within the European project TREASURE will also give insights on the economic and societal dimensions of sustainability of these systems.

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