The European code of conduct for data sharing in agriculture

What is this code of conduct?

As a farmer, you are investing in technology and digital advisory tools. In order to get the most out of them, these tools need access to your proprietary, high-quality, and up-to-date data. Without this access, you would have to manually enter the same data over and over again. Based on your agricultural data, new smart applications can also be built. But again, companies need access to your data first. Farmers and business see the benefits of sharing data, but they ask for clarity, transparency and respect for the owner of the data.

With this aim, a European code of conduct with guidelines on transparent data sharing was drafted in early 2018 at the initiative of Copa and CEMA and others. The most important article in this code is about signatories clearly recognizing the farmer as the owner of the raw data when the farmer collects it or has it collected. So what does this mean exactly?

  • The conditions under which data is collected and shared about the farm must be clearly defined in a contract.

  • The sharing of agricultural data is only possible with the permission of the producer of the data (data owner).

  • The farmer must be informed correctly about the involved data, the purpose for which they are shared and associated benefits. This is called informed consent.

This EU Code of Conduct signed by Copa and Cogeca, CEMA, Fertilizers Europe, CEETTAR, CEJA, ECPA, EFFAB, FEFAC, ESA etc., puts transparency first by contractually establishing the rights and obligations of all partners in the chain  to create the necessary trust between all these partners.

The Code of Conduct applied in DjustConnect

The Code of Conduct is a first important step towards transparency and trust but there are some points of attention. For example, it is only a code of conduct and is therefore not compulsory. The terms for data sharing may be contractually defined, but often this is done in more than one complex or unclear contracts. Keeping track of all these contracts becomes a digital archive in itself.

DjustConnect also offers a solution here:

  • There is one central digital contract in which the rules are clearly defined.
  • The technical infrastructure ensures that data can only be shared after explicit permission and under the conditions specified in the data request.

Sharing data via DjustConnect is therefore 100% in accordance with the Code of Conduct. This way, as a user, you don't have to go through the checklist from the Code of Conduct every time.

What about GDPR?

The Code of Conduct mainly focuses on the sharing of non-personal data. However, if data is linked to a person who is identifiable through a contract, land registry, coordinates, etc., it is considered personal data and is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The central DjustConnect contract

DjustConnect is 100% transparent about how it handles your data, whether it is personal data or not. You can find more explanation about this in the user agreement and our privacy policy. The following animation summarizes the most important aspects of the contract.