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Launch of OrganicDataNetwork project

Press release of the European project OrganicDataNetwork

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In most countries, organic agriculture and the organic market have been growing constantly for years. Key data on the development of the organic sector are crucial for policy makers, for economic decision makers and as a basis for deciding whether to invest in the organic industry. Figures from different European countries haven’t been good enough and, in some cases, they don’t exist at all. To create a new basis for the consistent elaboration of market data, the EU has granted funds for a new research project called Data Network for Better European Organic Market Information (OrganicDataNetwork).

A group of 30 researchers and stakeholders in the organic movement came together for a first meeting in March 2012 in Ancona/Italy. The participants, representing 15 organisations from different parts of Europe, laid the foundation for the three-year project to harmonise and improve the collection of organic market data in Europe. Six SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) are also taking part in the project.

“We are very happy with the outcome and the productive discussions during our first meeting,” said Raffaele Zanoli, the coordinator of the new EU project. Mr. Zanoli is professor of agricultural economics at the Polytechnic University of Marche in Ancona. Along with Prof. Zanoli the following are involved: Prof. Ulrich Hamm from the German University of Kassel, Dr. Matthias Stolze from the renowned Swiss organic research institute FiBL and Dr. Susanne Padel and her colleagues from the Organic Research Centre - Elm Farm, the UK's leading independent research institute for organic agriculture.
These four institutions, which all have many years of experience in organic market research, represent the core of the project. To have easier access to other countries and to include the practical experience of smaller partners, another 11 companies, universities and organisations have been integrated into this EU-project. Altogether the 15 participating partners come from 10 different countries.

"The project OrganicDataNetwork aims to meet the needs of policy makers and actors involved in organic markets by increasing the transparency of the European organic food market through better availability of market intelligence," stated Professor Zanoli.

"The network will co-operate closely with the European Commission, Eurostat and statistical offices of the Member States, using existing structures for collecting and processing data on the organic market and stimulating the development of new ones by adapting existing models," says Dr. Susanne Padel from the UK-based Organic Research Centre - Elm Farm. The partnership will act as a co-ordinating centre for stakeholders, and it will result in a proposal for the establishment of a permanent network to achieve collaboration on statistical issues regarding the organic market.

Joan Picazos from the Spanish manufacturer Biocop commented: “The organic trade in Europe is suffering from a lack of reliable data on the features and the evolution of the markets, and this is affecting especially the small companies that often have to make decisions without enough information. The EU project OrganicDataNetwork is a brilliant initiative to fill this gap; its structure, bringing together universities, agencies and companies, assures its alignment with the real needs of the organic sector.”

Further information

Project website

www.organicdatanetwork.net/

Project coordinator

Raffaele Zanoli, Politechnic University of Ancona, zanoli@no-spam.agrecon.univpm.it

Press officers

Partners

The following partners are taking part in the OrganicDataNetwork (see also partner descriptions at this website):

Project Goals

Goal 2015: Transparency in the European Market

The project, Data network for better European organic market information (OrganicDataNetwork) aims to increase the transparency of the European organic food market. This overall objective is broken down into key objectives:

  1. Bring together stakeholders and bodies actively involved in the collection and publication of organic market data and review the needs of end-users with regard to organic market data.
  2. Provide an inventory of relevant private and public bodies that are involved in the collection, processing and dissemination of organic market data in Europe.
  3. Classify existing methods of organic market data collection and develop criteria for improving the quality of available data.
  4. Collect, store in a common format and provide access to currently available data on organic markets in Europe.
  5. Develop and test common methodologies to assess the consistency of national data, with special reference to available data on trade flows.
  6. Test innovative approaches to improve the data collection and market reporting in six case study regions.
  7. Disseminate project results and develop recommendations including a code of practice for collecting and networking organic market data beyond the conclusion of the project.

Source: Description of Work: Data network for better European organic market information

Disclaimer

The project is financially supported by the European Commission the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (project number 289376). The views expressed in this press release do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission, nor do they in any way anticipate the Commission’s future policy in this area.

Contact

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Zanoli
Università Politecnica delle Marche
Via Brecce Bianche
60131 Ancona
Italy
Tel. +39 071 2204929
zanoli@no-spam.agrecon.univpm.it
www.univpm.it

Contact

Kai Kreuzer
Bio-Markt.Info
Waldstrasse 4
36341 Lauterbach
Germany
Tel. +49 6641 6443008
Fax +49 6641 6445189
kk@no-spam.bio-markt.info
www.bio-markt.info

OrganicDataNetwork: Key facts

Data network for better European organic market information (OrganicDataNetwork)

Funding: 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development of the European Union
Cordis.lu:Entry in the Cordis Database
Project call identifier:
FP7-KBBE-2011-5
Project number: 289376
Duration: 2012-2014
Project leader: Prof. Dr. Raffaele Zanoli, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy
URLwww.organicdatanetwork.net