Consumers’ and farmers’ perceptions in europe regarding the use of composted bedding material from cattle

Marija Klopčič*, Karmen Erjavec, Megan Waldrop, Jutta Roosen, Petra Engel, Paul Galama, Abele Kuipers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

By-products like sawdust and straw are applied in compost bedded-pack barns (CBP) for cattle. These materials, which are gradually mixed with excreta and undergo a composting process, serve as a lying bed for the cattle. This study aims to assess the perception of consumers and farmers regarding the use of CBP during the grazing season of cattle for raising other animals or for growing food crops. This was examined by combining surveys with consumers from eight European countries and cattle farmers, focus groups with consumers, and in-depth interviews with individual farmers who implemented alternative uses of compost. The results showed that farmers preferred the compost bedded-pack system to the cubicle system in terms of sustainability and market aspects, although the cost of the bedding material required for CBP was seen as a significant negative aspect. Around half of all consumers indicated that the compost can be used for non-edible products and 26% indicated the compost can be used for raising other animals. Furthermore, 5% of consumers felt that compost should not be used for any other purpose. There were statistically significant differences between countries; therefore, regional specificities should be taken into account when marketing products from compost in CBP barns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5128
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume13
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2021

Keywords

  • Alternative use
  • Cattle housing
  • Circular economy
  • Composting material
  • Farmer and consumer
  • Marketing
  • Perceptions
  • Produce

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