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Project facts

Project manager

Ylva Persson State veterinarian, associate professor ylva.persson@sva.se +46 18-67 41 62

Main applicant



Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences


Swedish Research Council Formas


2021 - 2025

Field of research





Project members

Karin Artursson

Stefan Widgren

Ulrika Nordling

Ruminants in a flexible food chain

Foto: Karin Alvåsen

This PhD-project within SustAinimal focuses on food security and animal health from a preparedness perspective. Food production in Sweden needs to continue even during times of change. Fluctuating weather, climate change, crises and changed political landscapes all require flexible solutions to ensure continued production of safe and highly quality food using effective and environmentally friendly methods. Sweden is a long country, which means that both changes and mitigation measures can differ in different parts of the country. We may need to adapt our food production to new systems, new animal species and new products. To do this, our animals need to be healthy and raised sustainably, with little negative impact on the environment and climate and a positive impact on biodiversity. We cannot risk that changes in food production leads to decreased biosecurity, animal welfare and antimicrobial resistance. We will survey current food production using ruminants in Sweden and investigate how it could change in different scenarios, both nationally and regionally. Using modelling and risk analyses we will map how different situations may affect animal health and spread of infections and what type of actions will be needed. Moreover, we will explore farmers’ perception of shifts in food production.

The project is a transdisciplinary cooperation between SVA and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU, and several partners within the Formas granted food consortium SustAinimal.

SustAinimal (www.sustainimal.se) is a research center composed of academia, research institutes and stakeholders from the whole food production value chain in Sweden that through a transdisciplinary approach will increase our knowledge on the role of livestock in future food production.  SustAinimal considers environmental, social, and economic aspects and follows cutting-edge research. SustAinimal postulates that change, development, and innovation are necessary to accomplish the required change in society for competitive agriculture and future food production that are both resilient and sustainable. Our goal is to provide society with the opportunity to make informed, conscious, and independent decisions to produce and consume responsibly. All PhD students in SustAinimal are expected to actively participate in ‘SustAinimal Academy’. SustAinimal Academy is a meeting platform for young researchers in SustAinimal with its own Summer School, courses, and other activities.

Ulrika Nordling is one of five PhD-students within SustAinimal. Her supervisors are Ylva Persson and Stefan Widgren at SVA and Susanna Sternberg Lewerin and Karin Alvåsen at SLU. Karin Artursson represents SVA in the steering committee of SustAinimals.

Last updated : 2021-11-08