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Conversion to a Farm Sustainability Data Network

Sep 25, 2023 | Horizon projects

Author: Blanca Casares (AEIDL)

On 15 September, Tools4CAP attended the Final Conference of the pilot project Converting Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) into Farm Sustainability Data Network (FSDN) organised by Ecorys, Arcadia international, Wageningen University, HIS Markit, ABACO Group and Ergo consulting. 

As announced in the May 2020 Farm to Fork Strategy, the conversion of FADN to FSDN aims to: 

  • Improve the role of FADN/FSDN for policy analysis, research, evaluation and policy-making 
  • Add variables related to environmental and social dimensions, complement economic variables: data needed at individual level 
  • Introduce innovative and modern data collection systems and practices, also through better interoperability – data sharing with other data sources 
  • Improving the provision of advisory services to farmers and benchmarking of farm sustainability performance 

The conference started with three introductory presentations on: 

  • Conference overview, by Jean-Marc Trarieux (DG AGRI) and George Beers (Consortium)  
  • EU framework for the conversion of FADN into FSDN, presented by Andrea Furlan (DG AGRI
  • Presentation of the Pilot Project, by Antonio Bubbico (Consortium)  

This was followed by three presentations addressing the question what sustainability data could the FSDN collect from an environmental, social and economic perspective. 

Concluding this block with a presentation on key conclusions on sustainability data and benchmarking by George Beers (Consortium). 

The conference continued with a presentation on International experiences on collecting sustainability data and benchmarking shared by Rino Ghelfi. He explained how to implement and effective strategy for the benchmarking services including: a. how to interact with farmers, b. how to create user-friendly data, c. how to increase the usefulness of data for farmers and d. how to motivate farmers to participate in FADN/FSDN. Rino Ghelfi concluded his presentation by asking the participants for their views on what are the main incentives for farmers to participate in reporting and  benchmarking. The participants voted  from most to least relevant: 

  • Bonus Point Acknowledgment 
  • Advisory Service 
  • Tailored Outputs 
  • Predictive Analysis and Investment Guidance 
  • Farmer training  
  • Data Timeliness 

And finally there was discussion on reduction of administrative burden through improved IT systems – FADN IT systems and feasibility of a unique ID and of a single EU IT-system provided by Christian Schingo (Consortium). 

It was noted that many national systems contain valid sources on farm-level sustainability data. There is no one-size-fits-all technological approach to provide all necessary data. In some cases, there is an overlap in data captured across systems. In addition, the objectives and background information were presented. 

Know more about the topic reading the EC initiative and EESC opinion Conversion to a Farm Sustainability Data Network (FSDN). 

Tools4CAP, which stands for Innovative Toolbox empowering effective CAP governance towards EU ambitions, aims to support the design and monitoring of the national Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Plans (SPs) 2023-2027 through a bottom-up adaptation of innovative methods and tools. Tools4CAP will closely follow the implementation of FSDN given its relevance for monitoring CAP SPs.  

Do not miss the opportunity and get involved and contribute to the future of national CAP Strategic Plans!