EU Code of Conduct on Agricultural Data Sharing

23.04.2018

EU agri-food chain agrees on data sharing to reap the benefits of precision farming

A joint initiative was launched today by the EU agri-food chain in Brussels, including farmers, agricultural and rural contractors, agri-cooperatives and other agri-food chain partners. The co-signatories wish to swiftly move into an era of digitally enhanced farming, presenting a non-binding EU Code of conduct on agricultural data sharing by contractual agreement that sheds greater light on contractual relations and provides guidance on the use of agricultural data.

Ceettar, the association of agricultural, rural and forestry contractors in Europe, decided to join the coalition as European contractors can rely on many years of experience in precision farming. “The use of digital technologies enables us to offer more targeted cultivation and sowing for our customers and helps farmers to reach sustainability through less emission to water and air, saving on seeds, fertilizers and plant protection products” said Bent Juul Jorgensen, Vice President in charge of Big Data.

As key partners of the agri-food chain, agricultural, rural and forestry contractors believe that access to accurate agricultural data is vital to develop precision farming. The EU Code of Conduct on Agricultural Data Sharing agreed by CEETTAR, CEJA, CEMA, Copa-Cogeca, EFFAB, ESA, FEFAC and Fertilizers Europe, aims to set transparent principles, to clarify responsibilities and to create trust among partners. It recognises the need to grant the data originators a leading role in controlling the access to and the use of data from their business partners and to benefit from sharing the data with any partner that wishes to use their data.

Furthermore, land-based contractors believe that to reap full profit of precision farming, the share of data between different partners in the agro-food chain must be based on compatibility between business models. This requires good broadband connections throughout the countryside in all corners of Europe, an objective which matches the EU Commission action plan on digitalization. Contractors would also appreciate manufacturers of different brands to agree on minimum standards on connectivity of software’s for an easier use of the data and a more efficient service to their clients.

Decisions at European level could greatly help in achieving this ambitious goal, and the Code of conduct on agricultural data sharing agreed today is an important step in the right direction. It echoes the recommendations on the principles related to ownership, use and processing of data that have been adopted in November 2017 by forestry contractors and forest companies in Finland. Ceettar is looking forward to further collaborate with the European institutions for a better future, moving as soon as possible towards a connected and sustainable agriculture in Europe.

Click here for more details of the EU Code of Conduct on Agricultural Data Sharing by Contractual Arrangement