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EU Code of Conduct sets scene for ag data sharingEU Code of Conduct sets scene for ag data sharing

Coalition of EU agri-food chain associations launches joint EU Code of Conduct on agricultural data sharing.

April 24, 2018

2 Min Read
EU Code of Conduct sets scene for ag data sharing

A coalition of associations from the European Union’s agri-food chain has launched a joint EU Code of Conduct on agricultural data sharing.

The code promotes the benefits of sharing data and enables agribusiness models, including agricultural cooperatives and other agribusinesses, to swiftly move into an era of digitally enhanced farming. The code also sheds greater light on contractual relations and provides guidance on the use of agricultural data, particularly the rights to access and use the data.

The signatories of the code believe that access to accurate agricultural data is vital to develop digital farming, enabling farmers and cooperatives to produce more using fewer resources. In order to fully reap the benefits of digital farming, sharing data between different partners in the agri-food chain must be conducted in a fair and transparent way.

The EU Code of Conduct on Agricultural Data Sharing by Contractual Arrangement agreed upon by Copa and Cogeca, CEMA, Fertilizers Europe, CEETTAR, CEJA, ECPA, EFFAB, FEFAC and ESA aims to set transparent principles, clarifying responsibilities and creating trust among partners. It sets out key guidelines for operators to follow, combined with a check list.

The groups believe that granting access to the necessary data will facilitate and accelerate data-driven business models.

The code recognizes the need to grant the data originator (the one who created/collected the data either by technical means or by himself or who has commissioned data providers for this purpose) a leading role in controlling the access to and use of data from their business and to benefit from sharing the data with any partner that wishes to use the data. The guidelines underline that the right to determine who can access and use the data is attributed to the data originator. In practice, this means that, for instance, the rights on data produced on the farm or during farming operations are attributed to the farmer and may be used exclusively by the farmer.

“I welcome the EU Code of Conduct on Agricultural Data Sharing initiated by the stakeholders of the agri-food sector. As Europe is moving towards a more modern and more sustainable (Common Agriculture Policy), technological solutions will be more important than ever, giving precision agriculture and data-driven solutions a crucial role to play,” EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan said.

Copa and Cogeca are the united voice of farmers and agri-cooperatives in the EU. Together, they ensure that EU agriculture is sustainable, innovative and competitive, guaranteeing food security to a half-billion people throughout Europe. Copa represents more than 13 million farmers, while Cogeca represents the interests of 22,000 agricultural cooperatives. They have 66 member organizations from the EU member states.

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