Conversion to a Farm Sustainability Data Network (FSDN)

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Mnenje EESO: Conversion to a Farm Sustainability Data Network (FSDN)

Key points:

The EESC:

  • welcomes and supports the conversion of the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) into a Farm Sustainability Data Network (FSDN), as provided for in the Farm to Fork strategy, with the task of collecting sustainability data, improving advisory services and providing feedback to farmers.
  • considers the FSDN to be an important tool for evidenced-based policies and recommends concrete example of environmental and social data to be collected under the FSDN, besides the economic data, as well as the following:

an approach cross-linking with the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) and data resulting from the implementation of the common agricultural policy (CAP) and also Eurostat, especially for environmental and social data;

- the possibility of all the farmers to contribute to the FSDN, where they are willing and able,

- there should be constant focus on reducing bureaucracy;

- the FSDN should help to increase understanding of the entire ecosystem of the farm,

- providing for subsistence farms and semi-subsistence farms to be included in FSDN sampling;

- including different characteristics, sources, formats, dimensions and levels of granularity of data due to the different situations among Member States (MS);

- providing for constant exchange of farming best practices between the MS and farmers;

- more support to consolidate the capacity for collecting, sharing, managing and using data at farm level, especially for small farms;

- the FSDN should contribute to improving farm management;

- specific criteria linked to the sustainability of the processes required by the FSDN and working conditions criteria for data collectors should be established.

  • ​​​​​​​considers that data protection, ownership, privacy and confidentiality should always be ensured and that the farmers should have permanent control of their data, and that data collected for the FSDN must under no circumstances be used for controlling and sanctioning farmers.
  • recommends that the farmers be provided with incentives to contribute.
  • recommends that more be done to build a common data space for agriculture, promoting co‑ownership of data and data cooperatives in the agrifood sector.
  • suggests that a dedicated integrated programme for digitalisation of the agrifood sector should be set up,
  • is suggesting that more efforts should be delivered in reducing white zones and providing phone connectivity and broadband in rural areas.
  • recommends that the funds for implementing the FSDN should be secured by the Commission and MS and that the data collected should take into account the price volatility and different crises in the agrifood supply chain.