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Multicriteria assessment method for sustainability of animal production

DIAMOND (DIagnostic de durabilité des ateliers d’élevage des Animaux MONogastriques Déclinable par espèce) is a method for assessing the sustainability of monograstric livestock production.

Projet Cunipalm

It was developed in the Cunipalm project, which studied the sustainability of livestock production practices for rabbits, geese, and ducks. The method is described in a users guide and is used in the S+Durable ? tool, suitable for assessing innovations under research conditions.

The DIAMOND method

Animal production lies at the intersection of new social, economic and environmental issues, and sustainable development has become a priority for many years. In this context, INRAE and ITAVI worked together to develop a multicriteria method to assess the sustainaibility of livestock production, so as to provide national benchmarks for economic, social and environmental efficacy and to identify technical choices (or combinations thereof) that influence these issues.

This collaboration resulted in development of the DIAMOND method, which is designed to be applicable to all monogastric animals (rabbits, poultry, pigs, etc.).

It was co-constructed in a participative approach based on consensus among stakeholders: experts, representatives of the rabbit and goose/duck sectors, citizens and consumers.

Construction consisted of four steps:

  • defining limits of the systems assessed
  • defining objectives of sustainability and their weighting
  • choosing sustainability indicators
  • choosing the method for aggregating data to interpret results

The method was iteratively applied to national networks of reference farms (rabbit and foie gras), which validated it and also produced national benchmarks of economic, social and environmental efficacy for both of the sectors studied. Analysis of the results revealed the influence of structural characteristics or technical choicies on sustainability and allowed the farms to be classified into types.

This work is a valuable asset for communication to the public about of these production systems but also for strategic analysis to identify room for improvement and action priorities.

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