National Farmers' Federation

New scheme to protect farm data reaches major milestone

The National Farmers’ Federation today announces the first three products to be certified under the Australian Farm Data Code.

In an important milestone for the Code, Pairtree Intelligence, FarmSimple, and Western Australia’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development all had products certified.

The Code is the first of its kind in Australia, intending to inform the data management policies of product and service providers who manage data on behalf of farmers.

NFF Vice President and Chair of the new Certification Panel, David Jochinke, said the voluntary Code was a yardstick for farmers to easily evaluate what can be an overwhelming minefield in data terms and policies.

“Data about soils, yields and finances are part of modern farming. Farmers need to know and trust their data is secure, not being shared or sold to third parties, and they have control of it,” Mr Jochinke said.

“The Code provides a publicly-available audit report for each product that has been assessed against the Code’s six principles – transparency, fairness, control, portability, security and compliance.

“It’s important to know where in the world is our farm data being stored and is it secure, is it being de-identified, what risks are there, and what value do we get from giving a company our farm data.”

As a fifth-generation farmer, Pairtree Intelligence CEO, Hamish Munro appreciates why farmers are suspicious about what happens to farm data, and has followed the Code’s development closely.

“Getting Pairtree PLUS certified was important. We aggregate all the data about a farm from multiple sources so our clients need to trust us. The Code is a welcome game changer because it gives reassurance to the farmers through an independent certification process developed by industry.”

FarmSimple is a cloud-based software system that captures farm management information, so it was a no-brainer for co-founder and Chief Design Officer, Matt Higham, to get the product certified.

“Helping busy farmers is what we do. Not only was this an easy way for them to feel confident in our product, it’s the right thing to do by farmers who have put their trust in us to keep their valuable and sensitive data secure.”

Western Australia’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has certified its new product, the eConnect Extrata Data Sharing Platform.

“Being a new platform, it was imperative to get it certified so farmers know they can trust it,” said Tom Picton-Warlow, the Department’s Business Development and Natural Capital Lead.

“We’ve all seen the data hacks in the news. What the Code does is give farmers confidence we’ve got everything in place to keep their data safe, but it’s also important to us that our product stands up to a rigorous system.”

Farmers can look for the certification mark and can access the audit report for each certified product online.

For more information about the Code, including how providers can be assessed and the register of certified products visit nff.org.au/programs/australian-farm-data-code.