From pigs to peat, farmers reap benefits of innovation

1st August 2023
Written by: Mari Findlay, Interface

From soil improvement to livestock management, Interface has helped farmers and growers with their ambitions towards reducing carbon footprint, environmental sustainability and process improvement.

Technology to develop electronic systems for managing pigs was developed through a collaboration with the University of the West of Scotland. Using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), systems were developed to monitor feeding, weight gain and climate conditions to maximise the output of pig farms whilst maintaining high welfare conditions.

When a group of organic food growers in the north of Scotland wanted to reduce their carbon footprint, Interface was able to find the right academic expertise at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

Transporting peat for compost to the Highlands was clocking up several hundred miles, so the collective of organic food growers in Moray decided to come up with an alternative seed compost made from locally available materials, which importantly, also dispenses with the need for using plastic seed trays. Interface matched them with experts at SRUC and the collaborative partners are hoping the project will lead to new business opportunities as well as reducing the carbon footprint of small-scale horticulture businesses, community groups and private gardens.

Putting green waste to good use was the driving force behind the development of biochar (a  stable form of carbon obtained from baking waste wood) by Sustainable Thinking Scotland Community Interest Company. The Bo’Ness-based organisation wanted to optimise biochar for water treatment and soil improvement. Working with academics at the University of the Highlands and Islands, they successfully launched a new product this year, and scooped a Scottish Knowledge Exchange Award for their endeavours!

These are just three of the projects which Interface has been able to support through our Business Engagement team matching organisations that want to develop new processes, products or services by partnering with Scotland’s world-renowned universities and research institutes.

Sowing the seeds of innovation can help future-proof agricultural businesses against the challenges of climate change, reducing carbon emissions, improving efficiencies and succession planning.

Find out more about how we’re supporting the agricultural sector, please visit

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