Safe­guard on farm data

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

The Farm Data Code of Prac­tice, launched ear­lier this month, is a first for the New Zealand agri­cul­tural in­dus­try.

The code out­lines steps or­gan­i­sa­tions must take to safe­guard farm­ers’ data. Adop­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the code is ex­pected to im­prove how farm in­for­ma­tion is shared and used.

DairyNZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Tim Mackle said wide­spread adop­tion of the code would in­crease the se­cu­rity of in­for­ma­tion as well as the speed and ease with which it was shared.

Long-term, he said adop­tion should en­cour­age a faster rate of in­no­va­tion in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor.

‘‘The re­al­ity is that the ter­mi­nol­ogy used by farm­ers on a daily ba­sis is de­fined dif­fer­ently by the range of or­gan­i­sa­tions with which they com­mu­ni­cate and share in­for­ma­tion.

‘‘Or­gan­i­sa­tions ad­her­ing to the new code of prac­tice com­mit to use com­mon ter­mi­nol­ogy and dic­tio­nar­ies to make it eas­ier to share land and an­i­mal data in a very se­cure man­ner.

‘‘At the mo­ment, farm data is not mov­ing be­tween or­gan­i­sa­tions in the vol­umes it could – of­ten due to dif­fer­ences in data def­i­ni­tions, the need for mul­ti­ple data en­try or com­plex in­te­gra­tion soft­ware.

‘‘By in­creas­ing the rate at which data can se­curely move be­tween ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tions, the speed of in­no­va­tion will surely in­crease. That’s great news for farm­ers and New Zealand’s ru­ral sec­tor as a whole,’’ Mackle said.

Although devel­op­ment of the code was a dairy ini­tia­tive, it was rel­e­vant to all New Zealand farm­ers he said.

Fed­er­ated Farm­ers pres­i­dent Bruce Wills said that or­gan­i­sa­tions’ ad­her­ence to the code would give farm­ers peace-of­mind that their farm data was se­cure when it was out­side their hands, mak­ing it eas­ier for farm­ers to man­age their data.

‘‘Farm­ers share a lot of valu­able and con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion ev­ery day with every­one from their farm con­sul­tant to their fer­tiliser com­pany. Or­gan­i­sa­tions adopt­ing the code of prac­tice are able to demon­strate their in­for­ma­tion man­age­ment sys­tems are se­cure, re­li­able and up to the task.

‘‘There has been a pos­i­tive re­cep­tion from both farm­ers and ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tions. They know ini­ti­at­ing a code of prac­tice will bring trans­parency as or­gan­i­sa­tions demon­strate they have good se­cu­rity pro­cesses in place. Another bonus for farm­ers is the code of prac­tice re­quires or­gan­i­sa­tions to clearly de­fine who owns the rights to farm data af­ter it’s been col­lected,’’ Wills said.

All or­gan­i­sa­tions col­lect­ing, hold­ing or shar­ing in­for­ma­tion about pri­mary pro­duc­ers and farm­ing op­er­a­tions are be­ing strongly en­cour­aged by DairyNZ to adopt the code.

DairyNZ strat­egy and in­vest­ment port­fo­lio man­ager Jenny Jago chaired the steer­ing com­mit­tee re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing in­dus­try con­sul­ta­tion and code devel­op­ment. She cau­tioned that the devel­op­ment of the code was the first of many steps for­ward for the in­dus­try.

‘‘Or­gan­i­sa­tions’ adop­tion of the code of prac­tice is part of a big­ger pic­ture, which is all about the in­dus­try work­ing to­gether to im­prove the man­age­ment and ef­fec­tive use of farm data.

‘‘Com­plet­ing the devel­op­ment of the code of prac­tice is a ma­jor piece of work and a key first step. Now it’s up to the in­dus­try to ac­tion it. Over the next year, our steer­ing com­mit­tee will con­tinue to re­lease ad­di­tional data stan­dards which will add fur­ther ben­e­fits to the in­dus­try one by one.’’

Devel­op­ment of the code was funded by New Zealand dairy farm­ers through DairyNZ, and also the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) and Far­mIQ.


LAUNCH: DairyNZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Mackle, left, and pres­i­dent of Fed­er­ated Farm­ers Bruce Wills launch the Farm Data Code of Prac­tice on June 10.

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