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Division of Food Production and Society

RObust Animals in sustainable Mixed FREE range systems - ROAM-Free

Pigs of the indigenous Slovenian Krško-polje breed at the Vremščica Infrasture Centre for Sustainable Recultivation (ICSR). Photo: Matthias Koesling
Active Last updated: 21.11.2023
End: nov 2024
Start: dec 2021

To reach the European Green Deal ambition of “at least 25 % of the EU’s agricultural land under organic farming by 2030” it is essential to support consumer interest and trust in organic animal products. Free-range pig systems comply well with consumer expectations and support the organic principles of “natural living”.

Start - end date 01.12.2021 - 30.11.2024
Project manager Atle Vibe - Norsk senter for økologisk landbruk
Project manager at Nibio Matthias Koesling
Division Division of Food Production and Society
Department Climate and food production

Free-range access reduces the need for antibiotics, lowers the capital for stable and may decrease the carbon footprint compared to indoor systems. Managing pigs free-range can be challenging and free-range access in pig-farming is declining or virtually non-existing. Biosecurity challenges, including infectious diseases and parasites and excessive land requirements are factors that the project will investigate.

Project aim

ROAM-FREE believes that combining organic pig production with other livestock or better integration of pigs with (cash) crops or trees, in mixed free-range production systems, may be an attractive alternative to present day specialized pig production due to increased adaptability to climate change, changing markets and costs, and better welfare while fulfilling consumer expectations.

The project will investigate how mixed free-range production systems can improve animal robustness and welfare. As well as environmental and economic sustainability and biodiversity in organic pig farming. This will support a wider adoption of organic farming across Europe – from Norway through to Romania.

Publications in the project


Updating the LCA-model FARMnor (Flow Analysis and Resource Management for Norway) to version 09 allowing to conduct environmental assessment for pigs. FARMnor runs on the LCA-software Umberto and allows to use information from the database ecoinvent.