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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Systematic Mapping of Research on Farm-Level Sustainability in Egg and Chicken Meat Production

Gunnarsson, Stefan; Segerkvist, Katarina Arvidsson; Goransson, Lina; Hansson, Helena; Sonesson, Ulf


The sustainability of future poultry production needs to be improved in order to meet global challenges. The global chicken population has expanded significantly in recent decades, due to increased human demand for eggs and chicken meat. Therefore, it is critically important to mitigate challenges to the sustainability of modern poultry production, such as pollution, the depletion of finite natural resources and animal welfare issues. This study systematically mapped the scientific literature on farm-level sustainability in egg and chicken meat production. The concept of sustainability was considered holistically, covering its economic, environmental and social dimensions, each consisting of a broad range of different aspects that may contradict or reinforce each other. The literature published between January 2000 and March 2020 with a geographical focus on Europe, North America and Australia-New Zealand, were included. The literature search resulted in a total of 428 hits, but after the exclusion of articles that did not match the scope of the study, only 26 papers remained for the systematic mapping. Of these, only three papers covered all three dimensions of sustainability. Aspects of economic sustainability were addressed in 10 papers, aspects of environmental sustainability in 18 papers, and aspects of social sustainability in 23 papers. The findings in this study are an important foundation for the discussion and prioritisation of future actions to increase knowledge of farm-level sustainability in egg and chicken meat production.


broiler; laying hen; environment; social; economic; animal welfare; ecology

Published in

2020, Volume: 12, number: 7, article number: 3033
Publisher: MDPI