Abstract for:Spreadsheep: information technologies to overcome perception delays in a dairy sheep supply chain

Sardinian island of Italy accounts for about 3% of the world sheep milk and 8% of the world sheep cheese production. Produced milk is mainly transformed in Pecorino Romano PDO cheese and exported to United States. Historical trends of Pecorino price showed increasing values and large oscillations probably associated with US cheese stocks and with broad variations in the milk price at producers further amplified by unavailable information on cheese stocks, poor predictions of milk deliveries and frequent market speculations. Lobbing activities are also frequent to promote institutional supports against low milk-cheese price or decreasing export trends. A causal loop diagram was built explaining the stakeholders relationships within the Sardinian sheep supply chain. An additional specific policy for the sheep sector development was identified in the opportunity to build a big-data pipeline called Spreadsheep. It should gather official statistics to feed prediction models of milk deliveries, processing and trade flows in order to estimate the cheese stock variation. It should provide transparency and reduction of perception delays supporting strategic planning of farmers and cheese makers. The CLD was used to improve the structure of a SD model to avoid unintended consequences in promoting land use change within the networking activites of project SheepToShip (LIFE CCM/IT/000123).