Home » Home/ News » News

OrganicDataNetwork statement on data collection and EU regulation

Recently the OrganicDataNetwork project issued its statement on data collection and made a number of suggestions how data collection could be improved in the context of the European Commission's review of the political and legal framework for organic production.


On March 13, 2013 the first workshop of organic data collectors was held in Newbury (UK) in the framework of the EU Project OrganicDataNetwork.

Based on the results of the workshop as further discussed on the project online forum with all involved stakeholders, the following statement was issued:

The review of the political and legal framework for organic production, currently implemented by the Commission is an occasion to improve current practices and methods of organic market data collection. One major obstacle is that data already collected is not used due to lack of harmonisation and methodology. Therefore the harmonisation of methodology in data collection is of utmost importance– e.g. in order to use the potential of data already collected by authorities.

The OrganicDataNetwork consortium believes that an improvement of current mandatory data provision of the member states, usually based on the data of the control bodies or on administrative data or data of the statistical offices will contribute to both the inspection system and market transparency.

1.    Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 Art.93 (2) on statistical information to be provided by the Member States should be fully implemented in the Member States.

2.    Additionally to Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 Art.93 (2) collection of turnover data from processors, wholesalers, retailers, importers and exporters should be made mandatory.

3.    To be of any use, Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 Art.93 (2) should more precisely define the statistical data referred to and should seek harmonisation in the product classification and nomenclature, with specific reference to Eurostat codes. Furthermore, production data on volumes should be collected by product or product group respectively.

4.    To increase the use of data collected by control bodies, it needs to be coupled with the harmonisation of definitions and concepts used in the inspection system.

Additional improvements in data collection can be achieved by the administrative authorities through:

1.    a unique and permanent identifier for each inspected operator (e.g. tax code or any other unique code used at national level) should be established ensuring the portability of such identifiers when changing control body.

2.    Commission Regulation (EC) 2286/2003 on the Community Customs Code should be amended by rendering mandatory for import/export operators the C644 code (Certificate of organic inspection) in Box 44 of the Single Administrative Document (SAD) when importing/exporting or re-exporting organic products . Besides an extra digit should be appended to TARIC code on relevant organic products, as already experimented by the Italian custom authorities in 2012 for cereals and oilseeds. This will allow the improvement of current foreign trade data collection by differentiating organic and non-organic trade. Amendments to the EC Regulations on the collection of Intra- and Extra-EU trade statistics by Member States will then allow the differentiation of the statistics on trade which are collected monthly from trade operators.

Finally, the OrganicDataNetwork consortium recommends that improving data collection should be one action point of a new European Organic Action Plan envisaged by the aforementioned review of the political and legal framework for organic production.

More information

Contact: Prof. Dr. Raffaele Zanoli, OrganicDataNetwork project coordinator

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:
Project number: 289376
Duration: 2012-2014
Project leader: Prof. Dr. Raffaele Zanoli, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy


Prof. Dr. Raffaele Zanoli
Università Politecnica delle Marche
Via Brecce Bianche
60131 Ancona
Tel. +39 071 2204929