Light improving pigs’ well-being
Elke den Ouden, Lenny van Erp & Iris Boumans
A PROJECT BY
Thijs Willems, My Do, Jeannette Stekelenburg & Nikki Koonings
The current situation in the Dutch pig meat industry is very stressful for the pigs, which directly affects their health and well-being. In order to better the living situation for the pigs, there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account. Together with signify we worked on finding a solution taking into account these factors and thereby making the solution feasible and realistic.
When trying to change things in something like the meat industry there are a lot of boundaries within which you have to work. Most boundaries are economical: consumers want their meat to stay cheap, so the farmers cannot afford to spend more money on their pigs. This had us realize that if we wanted to implement anything, it should be not too expensive and easy fitting in the current system. Also the consumers should be informed about the solution, so if meat gets more expensive, consumers know what they are paying extra for. That is why we decided to raise awareness by making videos about the current situation and possible solutions for increasing well-being. These videos also are promotional for the ONCE system that Signify is already working on, and the suggestion of broader implementation of this system in transport.
The first quartile was called ‘Context matters’, and was all about getting to know the field. In this quartile all important subjects about pig meat industry where researched such as: The general production process, transport of pigs, policies and the influence of light on pigs. The general outcome of this quartile was that, despite the policies, there was still a lot to gain on well-being of pigs. Another important outcome was that the economic aspect is going to play a huge role in whether or not an idea for improvement will succeed.
In the second quartile the final deliverable for the last quartile started to take shape, and further knowledge was gained by interviewing experts in the field. We had a meeting with one of the experts that was working together with signify on their already existing light system ONCE, and gained more knowledge about the influence light has on pigs. This further insight in light influences made for the idea to further adaptation of the light system for usage during transport, since transport is very stressful for pigs. At the end of this quartile the final deliverable was shaped into the informational/promotional video about the current situation and the implementation of the light system.
In the last quartile the video idea was worked out and scripted, we decided that we wanted a combination of animations, expert speakers and camera footage of pig farms. The most challenging thing was to find an expert that wanted to participate in the videos, which in the end we found in Lenny van Erp. Apart from that one of our contacts at Signify, Marc de Samber, would be our second speaker in the video, where he explained the current light system Signify is developing. So the outcome of this quartile was a series of videos that starts with explaining and raising awareness about the current situation, and ends with promoting the light system of signify and the implementation in transport.