Piglet rearers

In the third programme period, processes that belong together are put together: The AWI believes that keeping sows is inseparable from rearing piglets, and both can therefore be subsumed under the heading of piglet production. Find out here what changes this brings for livestock farmers and what they now need to keep in mind.

Conditions of participation

Sow farmers and piglet rearers participating in the Animal Welfare Initiative comply with certain criteria to ensure better animal welfare. Piglet rearers continue to receive financial compensation for their additional expenditure from the AWI fund, and they pass this compensation on to AWI sow farmers on a prorated basis. Click here to find out how the system will work in the third programme period from 2021:

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In the new programme period, it is essential that piglets are sourced from participating sow farmers. Piglet farmers who either do not raise their own sows or do not yet collaborate with a sow farmer associated with the Animal Welfare Initiative will need to ensure and verify that they only source their piglets from one or several AWI sow farmer(s), either directly or via livestock traders or livestock marketing organisations. AWI sow farmers are encouraged to sell their weaned piglets to one or several AWI piglet rearers so that they can be compensated for their additional expenditure on a prorated basis.


Livestock farmers need to comply with a number of criteria if they wish to participate in the Animal Welfare Initiative. A novel element in the third programme period is that elective criteria have been abolished. As a result, there is now a clearly defined, concise catalogue of requirements, which ensures that the same high level of welfare is reached for all animals covered by the AWI. This step has become necessary with the introduction of the identity principle for pork products. After all, the seal of the Animal Welfare Initiative needs to stand for a clear and uniform statement on how livestock has been kept. Given that keeping sows is inseparable from rearing piglets, increasing the space available for sows invariably results in a reduced stocking rate in piglet rearing. Farmers additionally need to offer their animals roughage.



Every livestock business that is a member of the Animal Welfare Initiative will be audited twice per year and therefore undergo a total of six audits during the programme term instead of seven as was previously the case. Intensive controls will be retained, as the three stock audits to be conducted during the programme period will be conducted without any prior announcement

Overview of the audit system during the third programme period

  • Each farm will continue to be audited twice per year.
  • A total of six audits will be conducted during the programme term.
  • Three of the audits are stock audits; these will be conducted entirely unannounced.
  • The costs of the stock audits will be borne by the AWI, being the parent company.

Further information on the AWI audit system can be found here.