Institute of

Organic Farming


Annette Pontillo
Institute of Organic Farming

Trenthorst 32
23847 Westerau
Phone: +49 4539 8880 0
Fax: +49 4539 8880 120

Kontrollstellennr.: DE-ÖKO-006

Organic Pig Produktion

Consumers of organic produced pork expect that it is eco- and animal-friendly produced and of improved taste and flavour. The corresponding process and product qualities can only be met with the help of respective production systems in piglet production and in pig fattening. But there exists still a gap between expectations and reality. The research of the Thünen-Institute of Organic Farming wants to fill this gap.

System related research focuses on environmentally sound production systems which also guarantee animal welfare. The research on production systems in piglet production and in pig fattening aims at performance, animal health, animal losses, behaviour, and emissions concerning sows, piglets, and growing-finishing pigs.

It is the aim of the Institute’s research to generate rationally based knowledge for the whole value chain and politics to develop the whole sector.

Key areas of action relate to shortcomings in both process and product quality and, if both are combined appropriately, to the resulting unsatisfactory cost-effectiveness. A system approach to pig farming requires substantial research on its environmental impact and animal welfare. Broken down to the level of production processes, the focus is on questions in piglet production and pig fattening regarding the biological performance, animal health, losses, behaviour and emissions in sows, piglets and fattening pigs.

The aim of the work is to generate science-based knowledge that can be made available to the entire value chain up to the political level and used for the further development of the sector.




Organic Piglet Production

In organic piglet production, considerable optimisation work remains to be done concerning process quality. Projects focus on keeping & feeding, animal welfare & behaviour, and performance of lactating sows, as well as suckling and rearing piglets.

Organic Pig Fattening

In organic pig fattening, considerable optimisation work remains to be done concerning process quality as well as product quality. Projects focus on the integration of growing-finishing pigs into the organic farming system in terms of choice of the genotype, diets of 100% organic origin and waiving of castration concerning performance, carcass & meat quality, health status, loss rates, and emissions.

Ongoing projects pig production