SUSTAvianFEED’s 7th Consortium Meeting: Bridging Vision with Reality through Immersive Experiences

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The 7th Consortium Meeting of SUSTAvianFEED, held in Tunisia between 14-17 November, marked a pivotal chapter in the collective journey toward redefining the landscape of poultry farming. Beyond the intricacies of organizational discussions, this meeting encapsulated the spirit of passion and collaboration that sets our consortium apart.

What transpired in these days wasn’t just a series of meetings; it was a convergence of passionate minds dedicated to reshaping the narrative of sustainable poultry farming. Partners who are not just collaborators but a warm and enthusiastic group, weaving a unique tapestry of togetherness for environmental sustainability.

The heart of our meeting lay in the immersive visits to some pilot activities. Partners didn’t just discuss; they stepped into the realm of sustainable farming, witnessing the impact of their collaborative efforts on the ground. It wasn’t a theoretical discourse; it was a tangible experience of the positive change we aim to bring. 

The journey took our partners to the region of Jendoubam specifically Fernana and Bulla Regia, where sustainable agriculture isn’t a theoretical concept but a thriving reality. These pilot visits weren’t just about observation; they were a tangible exploration of how sustainable practices are reshaping the poultry farming narrative.

Key Insights from these visits:

  • Women empowerment: most of them have gone from being day laborer’s in very precarious and poor working conditions to having a steady livelihood, improving their physical and mental health. In addition, they know now how to deal with abuse of power in the workplace.
  • Innovative Practices, Redefining Poultry Farming: Partners witnessed firsthand the integration of sustainable feeding methods, cultivating innovation at the grassroots of agriculture. Pilots emerged as pioneers in adopting innovative approaches, proving that sustainable farming is both achievable and impactful.
  • Local Impact and Empowered Communities: Beyond sustainable practices, pilots showcased the broader impact on community resilience and local economies, aligning with the ethos of SUSTAvianFEED.
  • Environmental Harmony: pilots exemplified the consortium’s commitment to environmental stewardship, showcasing the practical application of sustainable farming.
  • Hands-On Sustainability: Partners experienced how sustainable practices are not just about theoretical concepts but practical, hands-on approaches that redefine the poultry industry.

Fundamental workshops are crucial for the entire project and, in these days, were the crucible where ideas were not just exchanged but forged into the very fabric of our project’s outcomes. The workshop session was a dynamic canvas where collective wisdom painted the future of sustainable farming, leaving an indelible mark on the trajectory of SUSTAvianFEED in which  partners divided in 3 focused groups, diving into crucial topics as:

  • Local Impact: they explored how SUSTAvianFEED is revolutionizing poultry feeding. It’s not just change; it’s meaningful, sustainable transformation.  Imagine a future where your choices matter!
  • Women Farmers’ Empowerment: in this workshop, they delved into empowerment, motivation, and how SUSTAvianFEED is a catalyst for change in women’s lives. ‘From dark to light’ was one of the sentences heard during the workshop, meaning the important step that the project represented for them. From skill enhancement to decision-making, let’s celebrate the strength of women in agriculture!
  • Sustainability Champions: this group dissected the sustainability of project results, understanding the pivotal roles of each partner and stakeholder. It’s a symphony of efforts, and you’re invited to be part of this transformative journey. Let’s pave the way for a future that’s sustainable in every sense!

Conferences are more than just platforms for discussion; they are stages for sharing knowledge, fostering collaboration, and igniting the spark of change. The insightful discussions resonated with purpose, expanding our understanding of animal welfare and environmental sustainability in the context of our project. More than 60 people participated in the conference, in which academia, private sector and the public administration, with representes from the Ministry of Agriculture of Tunisia, were represented.

During the first conference, UNITO made a great review about the inclusion of insects in poultry diets, its evolution, the effect on its performance, and the future perspectives for its use. In addition, the effect of insect larvae in the improvement of animal welfare, which is being assessed in SUSTAvianFEED project was also explained in an extraordinary conference which led to a fruitful discussion with the attendees.

In a second session  ENTOMO, presented the possibilities for insects’ production in different contexts. This innovative method involves cultivating insects as a protein-rich feed source, reducing dependence on traditional protein sources with high environmental footprints, such as soybean or fishmeal. Insects are highly efficient in converting organic waste into valuable protein, minimizing the ecological impact of feed production.

Insect farming aligns with circular economy principles by utilizing organic by-products to nourish insects. This not only addresses environmental concerns but also enhances the overall sustainability of poultry farming. The nutrient-rich insects contribute to healthier poultry diets, fostering improved bird health and welfare. Embracing sustainable insect farming techniques signifies a shift towards resource-efficient and environmentally conscious practices in the farming chain.

What truly sets our consortium apart is the warmth and passion that fuels our collective journey. It’s not merely a group of partners; it’s a family bound by a shared commitment to environmental sustainability in poultry farming.

Thanks to this 7th Consortium Meeting, we carry with us more than action plans and strategies. We carry a shared vision, a collective heartbeat resonating with the passion that propels us forward. SUSTAvianFEED is not just a project; it’s a movement, and the 7th Consortium Meeting was a testament to the harmony in action that defines our journey. Here’s to more strides, more collaborations, and a future where sustainability isn’t just a goal but a way of life!

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