Nordic workshop on competitive and sustainable animal production

Sep. 27 - 28, 2017 in Seinäjoki, Finland

“Fostering the economics and viability of the livestock sector” 


Registration (please click on appropriate category to register): 








Livestock sector in the Northern Europe is facing strong challenges to maintain its economic, environmental and ethical sustainability. Climate change, sustainability challenges and globalization of the food supply are examples of factors which can impact the livestock sector worldwide. There is a need to address adaptation options and economic dimensions of these issues.

Consumers, policy-makers and stakeholders are increasingly interested in ethical and quality aspects of food. Concerns related to animal welfare, food safety, ecological and environmental burden of livestock and rising antimicrobial resistance have gained attention among stakeholders. One approach to these challenges is to select production and marketing strategies such as direct sales from farms, local food or the use of labelling based on high-quality standards which account for environmental and ethical concerns. However, consumers are a heterogeneous group and different attention is given to these topics across the Nordic countries.

From the business perspective, competition is intense and there is much pressure to reduce production costs. These pressures are increased by policies affecting international trade and the competitive advantage of countries with for instance lower environmental or animal welfare standards. Reduced profitability, narrowing wedge between input prices and producer prices of livestock products, and emerging sustainability challenges have put livestock sector in a vulnerable financial position. This all highlights the need for developing novel approaches to enhance productivity and to meet consumers’ and society’s expectations.

Studies evaluating economic impacts of improved production and supply chain management, improved risk management in a volatile market, animal health care systems, advances in animal breeding and emerging technologies such as automatic milking systems or automated monitoring of animals in the future production systems are needed to guide decisions. Cost-effectiveness stresses the need to consider future options for the structure of the sector. From the policy perspective, information is needed on the role of information, economic incentives and policies in guiding transformation to sustainability.  Knowledge is needed on which factors are the driving forces behind each development and how to best handle future challenges.


Call for papers and posters

The organizing committee invites proposals for oral presentations and posters. Submissions addressing economic, environmental or ethical sustainability of livestock production are expected. Papers from all disciplines are welcomed. Contributions in these themes are particularly welcomed:

  • Influences of improved management and novel technologies on economic competitiveness of livestock enterprises
  • Consumer perspectives and willingness to pay for environmentally or ethically more sustainable products
  • Analysis of policies related to economic, environmental or ethical sustainability of livestock sector


Abstract submission

The deadline for submissions is the 20th of August 2017. The authors have been informed about the outcome of review. Please contact the organizers, if you have not received a message.

The organizing committee still welcomes submissions for poster presentations. Please submit a one-page abstract highlighting the research question, materials and methods, the main result and a conclusion of your contribution via an on-line form (click to open the form)

There will be a best paper and poster competition. Accepted abstracts will be compiled in a proceedings book that will be available on-line by the time of workshop.

There is a possibility to submit the full paper to be considered for publication by Agricultural and Food Science.



Preliminary programme

Wednesday 27 September

10:00 Arrival, registration and coffee


10:30 Welcome address


10:40 Keynote talk

Livestock food systems – how values influence the sustainable balance? Jonathan Rushton, Professor of Animal Health and Food Systems Economics, University of Liverpool, UK


11:20 Contributed session

A General Framework for Analysing Economic Sustainability and its Determinants and an Application to Pig Production in Denmark. Henningsen, A.

Structural changes in Swedish pig production 2002 – 2011: Effect of efficiency on size of the farm. Labajova, K., Hansson, H., Lagerkvist, C.J.,

Farmers’ locus of control and persistent, residual and overall efficiency – an example from Swedish pig agriculture. Hansson, H., Manevska-Tasevska, G., Labajova, K.


12:20 Lunch


13:20 Contributed session

Cost-efficiency of pig feed salmonella control program in Finland. Heinola, K., Niemi, J.K.

Input Quantitative restriction and economic performance: Evidence from the Danish yellow card initiative. Belay, D. G.

Working methods in improving results at dairy farms. Suvanto, H., Nieminen, T. & Wirtanen, G.

Sensor technology in sheep on range pastures to monitor health and welfare. Grøva, L., Fuchs, B., Brunberg, E., Sørheim, K., Hvasshovd, S.O., Støbet Lande, U., Stubsjøen, S.M.

The importance of smart agriculture and sensor technologies in modern dairy farming. Cielava L., Rivza B., Jonkus D., Zeverte-Rivza S.


14:40 Coffee break


15:10 Keynote talk

Possibilities to improve the sustainability of dairy production. Pekka Huhtanen, Professor of Animal Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden


15:50 Contributed session

Can farmer’s adoption of mastitis prevention measures explain bulk milk somatic cell count?Lind, N., Emanuelson, U., Lagerkvist, C.-J., Hansson, H.

Improved fertility of Nordic dairy cattle boosts profitability of farms. Tyrisevä, A.-M., Pösö, J., Lidauer, M.H.

A field study to determine the incidence and cost of subclinical and clinical ketosis in Finnish dairy farms with milk test stripes. Anttila, A., Metsälä J., Huhtamäki T., Perasto S., Morri S.

Economic evaluation of benefits of improved feed efficiency. Sipiläinen, T., Akkanen, P. (Poster)


Free time


19:00 Dinner, Restaurant ÄärelläKauppakatu 19, Seinäjoki 


Thursday 28 September


9:00 Keynote talk

Consumer attitudes to animal welfare in intensive production systems. Beth Clark, Newcastle University, UK (Note: the speaker has changed)


9:40 Contributed session

The determinants of consumers’ and non-consumers’ purchase decisions for sheep meat. Latvala, T., Mandolesi, S., Naspetti, S., Zanoli, R., Kause, A.

The Relationship between Animal Welfare and Economic Performance at Farm Level: A Quantitative Study of Danish Pig Producers. Henningsen, A., Czekaj, T.G., Forkman, B., Lund, M., Nielsen, A.S.

Stakeholder-preferred ways to reduce production diseases. Jones, P., Niemi, J.K., Tranter, R.


10:30 Coffee break


11:00 Contributed session

Multiple benefits from using grass as a feedstock for a biorefinery. Rinne, M., Winquist, E., Keto, L., Niemi, J., Siika-aho, M., Pihlajaniemi, V., Lantto, R.

Cost-effectiveness of three alternatives to antibiotics in handling weaning diarrhea among piglets. Jensen J.D.

Estimating the value of good biosecurity in pig fattening. Niemi, J.K., Le’Floch, N., Jones, P.


12:00 Closure of the sustainability workshop




13:00 NordicNEAH workshop: Topics for economic research focusing on animal health and welfare 

This workshop includes group working. The participants of the sustainability workshop are invited to attend the afternoon workshop.

Coffee will be served at 14:30.


16:00 End of day 2


Information to the speakers:

Each oral presentation in the contributed sessions has been allocated a 20 minutes timeslot  (including questions and answers).

Posters will be presented briefly during relevant contributed sessions.


Practical info

Target group

The target group of the workshop includes researchers, students of agricultural and applied economics and animal science, government employees, advisors and industry representatives working in the field of animal production. 


The workshop will be held at meeting and congress center Frami in Seinäjoki, Finland. The town is known for its strong food industry and for Lakeuden Risti church and other buildings designed by famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Further information.

How to get there?

Seinäjoki can be reached by air via

  • Vaasa international airport (VAA) is located one-hour drive from Seinäjoki. A shuttle service will be available from/to Vaasa airport (a fee applies, requires advance booking ). Please note: If you need transportation between Seinäjoki and Vaasa airport, please send an email that includes your time of arrival and departure to jarkko.niemi@luke.fi.
  • Helsinki international airport (HEL) from where a train connection to Seinäjoki is available approximately once every hour (journey duration 2.5 to 3 hours).  

Domestic connections:

Participation fee

Registration to the workshop will be opened in the first week of August. The participation fee includes lunches, conference dinner, refreshments or coffee during the breaks and the workshop material. 

  • NJF members before 11 September 2017: 270 €
  • NJF members after 11 September 2017:320 €
  • Others before 11 September 2017: 320 €
  • Others after 11 September 2017: 400 €
  • Students before 11 September 2017: 270 €
  • Students after 11 September 2017: 320 €

Non-members can join the association before registration at the NJF website.


Accommodation is not included in the workshop fee. The participants are responsible for booking their own accommodation as well as paying the price for room to the hotel.

Rooms have been pre-booked at the hotels to ensure availability at a workshop price as follows:


Cumulus City Hotel Seinäjoki

Single room: 89 € per night

Double room: 99 € per night

Prices include breakfast, use of sauna and free wifi.

Book the room at this hotel via http://www.booking.restel.fi by using booking reference "LUKE2017"


Original Sokos Hotel Lakeus

Single room: 123 € per night

Double room: 140 € per night

Prices include breakfast buffet.

To book a room at this hotel, send an email to lakeus.seinajoki@sok.fi or call +358 10 7648 000 (0.0835 €/call + 0.1209 €/min)

Upon booking, please mention booking reference "NJF Workshop"


These two hotels are located about 1.5 km from the venue. Other accommodation options nearby include:

Hotel Alma

Omena Hotel (self-service hotel)


Organizing committee

Jarkko Niemi, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Finland

Pekka Uimari, University of Helsinki, Finland

Baiba Rivza, Latvia University of Agriculture, Latvia

Rando Värnik, Estonian University of Life Science, Estonia

Helena Hansson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Jørgen Dejgård Jensen, University of Compenhagen, Denmark

Additional information

For further information, please contact:

Jarkko Niemi, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Phone: +358 40 358 0487

E-mail: jarkko.niemi@luke.fi

Important dates

Important deadlines

  • Submission of abstracts: 20 august 2017 
  • Notification of acceptance: by 21 august 2017
  • Early registration deadline: 11 September 2017
  • Final registration: 25 September 2017
  • Workshop: 27-28 September 2017

Participation fee

  • NJF members before 11 September 2017: 270 €
  • NJF members after 11 September 2017:320 €
  • Others before 11 September 2017: 320 €
  • Others after 11 September 2017: 400 €
  • Students before 11 September 2017: 270 €
  • Students after 11 September 2017: 320 €

Non-members can join the association before registration at the NJF website.

The participation fee includes lunches, conference dinner, refreshments or coffee during the breaks and the workshop material.