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Conference abstract, 2019

Applied analytical hierarchical processing in a social sustainability study of pig farming in Sweden

Zira, Stanley; Ivarsson, Emma; Röös, Elin; Rydhmer, Lotta


Poor conditions for human and animals are antecedents of low social sustainability in pig production. Efforts meant to improve social sustainability should prioritize these antecedents in their order of importance. In this pilot study we tested analytical hierarchical processing (AHP) as a method of prioritization of the antecedents of low social sustainability. Five issues for pig farm workers, ve for pigs and three for consumers were identied in a literature review including 7 published articles. We used three experts in Swedish pig production as judges in pairwise comparisons of these issues. The R package AHP was used for the weighting and analysis of judges’ consistency. All the three judges had an internal consistency <0.2 for pig issues, whilst for worker issues only one judge had an internal consistency <0.2. For consumer issues, internal consistency ranged from 0.28 to 1.3 and the weights are thus not presented. For worker issues, low income had the highest relative weight (0.43) followed by low work pleasure (0.27), poor worker health (0.15), long work hours (0.09), and poor communication between farm owners and workers (0.06). For pig issues, poor health (0.30) had the highest weight followed by poor ambient environment (0.24), poor handling at slaughter (0.22), lack of freedom to express normal behaviour (0.20), and weak animal welfare law (0.04). To conclude, the pilot study shows that AHP can be used to weight social sustainability issues using experts but consistency needs to be considered. There is ongoing work to see the effect of increasing the number of judges and also improving the questioning pattern. Based on this pilot study the highest priority for worker issues should be given to income and the least to communication between farmer and workers. For pig issues similar priority should be given to pig health, pig ambient environment, handling at slaughter and freedom to exhibit natural behaviour.

Published in

Annual meeting of the European Association for Animal Production
2019, number: 25, pages: 485-485
Book title: Book of Abstracts of the 70th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science
ISBN: 978-90-8686-339-6
Publisher: Wageningen Academic Publishers


EAAP – 70th annual meeting, Ghent, Belgium, 26th-30th August, 2019