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Space focuses on improving working conditions

The ‘Espace for the Future’ has become an important stage in the SPACE visit. This year, following on from the robotics theme highlighted in 2017, the elected representatives of the Chambers, with support from SPACE, were keen to focus on “innovation to improve working conditions”. A field of great importance for both workers and employers.

In raising large numbers of chicken, it cannot be avoided that workloads are high and the tasks are of repetitive nature. With bedding maintenance, weighing or cleaning during the farm empty period, there are still too many tasks considered arduous and repetitive. In this context, in the last few years, the problem is increasingly taken into account by the profession and solutions are appearing to improve working conditions both of farmers and their employees. For the exhibitioners at Space in Rennes, this is an opportunity to draw attention to tools, organisations and expertise which improve farmers’ comfort and the appeal of jobs.

In poultry farming many of the tasks are of repetative nature. How a worker uses its body and learning to do it in a better way can prevent sick days. Photo: Fabian Brockotter
In poultry farming many of the tasks are of repetative nature. How a worker uses its body and learning to do it in a better way can prevent sick days. Photo: Fabian Brockotter

“New generation” farms

In the ’Espace for the Future’, the mission entrusted by SPACE organisers to the experts from the Chambers of Agriculture with backup from different partners (GIE Elevages de Bretagne, Agretic BDI, technical institutes, etc.) is therefore to present tomorrow’s farms to visitors integrating the 3 pillars of sustainable development: economic, environmental and social. Based on beef cattle, pig and poultry farms, this year ingenious and new equipment will be proposed such as the ‘piglet lift’, intelligent silo unloader, hen house cleaning robot and 3D imaging of the physiology of the workers themselves, and also in-depth discussions involving farmers and their employees to explore ways of working better and less. By sharing expertise with innovative equipment and new practices, the ‘Espace for the Future’ will highlight the fact that farmers carry out a highly varied, fulfilling job which requires a combination of a whole range of knowledge and skills. Continuous improvement is key, instead of acceptance of current working conditions.

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