The EU Code of Conduct on Agricultural Data Sharing and the European strategy for data

Online since 01-07-2020
According to the 11 signatories of the Code of Conduct, the digital transformation of EU agriculture is an opportunity for the EU agri-food chain, as long as the digital transition works for everyone, puts people first and opens up new opportunities for business.
Stimulating and facilitating additional investment in the sector is key. Under the Union’s Economic Recovery Programme, the drive for increased and improved sustainability, combating climate change and enhancing biodiversity must continue to be at the heart of our ambitions. In this regard, it is fundamental to ensure that the Economic Recovery Programme includes, among other measures, support for investment in digitalisation in agriculture, with adequate budgetary allocations from outside the agricultural budget. 

To fully benefit from digital farming, data must be shared between all partners in the agri-food chain in a fair and transparent way. This Code of Conduct, designed in 2018 and translated into English, French, Italian and Spanish, aims to promote the benefits of sharing data and enabling agri-business models, including agri-cooperatives and other agri-businesses, to swiftly move into an era of digitally enhanced farming. The Code of Conduct explains contractual relations and provides guidance on the use of agricultural data, particularly on the rights of access and use of the data.

All signatories of the Code of Conduct recognise the need to grant the data originator a leading role in controlling access to and the use of data. The guidelines also underline that the right to determine who can access and use the data should be granted to the data originator. In practice, this means that the rights to data collected on the farm or during farming operations are granted to the farmer and may be used as he or she sees fit.

Launched on 23 April 2018, the EU Code of Conduct on Agricultural Data Sharing has been endorsed and signed by over ten key European agricultural sector organisations. All signatories are convinced of the importance of setting transparent principles and guidelines to support the development of digital farming, which demonstrates the need for increased data sharing in agriculture.

So far, Copa and Cogeca, CEMA, Fertilizers Europe, CEETTAR, CEJA, ECPA, EFFAB, FEFAC, Euroseeds, CLIMMAR and AnimalhealthEurope have agreed to sign the contractual arrangement which is part of this Code of Conduct. We hereby express our commitment to EU common policies. We would be honoured to have an exchange of views with you on this topic in the near future.

Four different languages of the EU Code of Conduct on Agricultural Data Sharing can be found here