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FFL-JA-Forskningsmidlene for jordbruk og matindustri

#Amazing grazing - sustainable food and fiber from Norwegian sheep rangeland grazing systems

Alternative title: #Amazing grazing - bærekraftig kjøtt og ull fra sau som beiter i norsk utmark

Awarded: NOK 4.6 mill.

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Project Period:

2021 - 2025


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#AMAZING GRAZING will bring new knowledge on how sheep rangeland grazing systems can be part of sustainable food and fiber systems. Meat and wool from Norwegian sheep are from farms managing a diversity of rangeland grazing resources, and thus use different management strategies. In this project, we will study sheep farming systems, consumer understanding of products from these systems, and how national frameworks affect the way farmers and consumers comply. How can Norwegian sheep rangeland grazing systems be improved, and how can the consumer gain more knowledge and closeness to what these grazing systems contribute with? One aim is to strengthening value creation for meat and wool both for sheep farmers, but also for those who process and sell these products. Communicating complicated assessments in an easy-to-grasp way, promoting a better understanding of grazing animals' important function for eco-services such as climate, biological diversity and good resource utilization - is central to the project's success. Can Norwegian sheep farming contribute to achieving some of UN's sustainability goals? The project has so far participated with several articles, debate posts and lectures nationally to shed light on issues that the project will contribute new knowledge into. The work of understanding how a sustainable production system with sheep should be, and the consumer's role is in the start-up phase. At the beginning of 2022, the project has hired a PostDoc at SIFO to work on the project. More than 30 different actors in the value chain for meat and wool will participate. Research and international networks that the project's partners have access to will play a major role. Actors in the value chain and sheep farmers with different farming practices, together with researchers from Norwegain Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Consumption Research Norway at OsloMet (SIFO) and the Norwegian Center for Organic Agriculture (NORSØK) will increase knowledge on sustainable food and fiber. The project is led by NIBIO Tingvoll. The broad participation from actors in all parts of the value chain will ensure that knowledge is shared, and can provide transfer-value to other grazing animals and their products.

#AMAZING GRAZING will provide new knowledge and insight on how sheep and rangeland grazing can be part of sustainable food and fiber (textile) systems, and how stakeholders in the value chain can enhance value creation in a wide sense. The proposal builds on the research-project KRUS (Bionær), where changing the environmental debate related to the fiber wool has been successful. We seek to describe and assess sustainability in existing and scenario rangeland grazing systems. This will be achieved through Smart-analysis, LCA, human resource calculations and economy modeling. We also want to look at how policy, economy and public discourse influence sustainability in these systems. By looking at how products from rangeland grazing systems are promoted and how this influences consumer behavior, we aim to strengthen value creation from these systems. We will include stakeholders in local and national value chains throughout the project to get input on our methods-approach, and further also on our findings. All stakeholders in the value chain will get insight into what the qualities of sustainable products from rangeland grazing systems are, including policymakers and NGO’s that have an impact. A common understanding will enhance value creation and ensure our ability to continue producing food and fiber from our rangelands, and thus stimulate their market up-take.

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FFL-JA-Forskningsmidlene for jordbruk og matindustri