The new scheme — which builds on existing schemes available in the United States and New Zealand — will certify products marketed to farmers to ensure they comply with the Australian Farm Data Code. An updated version two of the code has also been released.
NFF vice-president and Certification Panel chair David Jochinke said the scheme was about informing farmers and lifting industry standards.
“We’re in the digital farming era, and the volume and value of our data is growing every day,” Mr Jochinke said.
“There’s a goldmine of industry data held with service providers. Everything about our production systems, our soils, our yields and our finances is in a cloud somewhere.
“As a farmer, I want to know that whoever I give that data to is going to look after it. That means keeping it secure, not sharing or selling it to third parties, and giving me control to delete it or move it to another service.”
The certification has been developed over an 18-month period with support from the Federal Government and in consultation with farmers and product providers.
“This has been under development for quite some time, and we’ve spoken to a huge number of farmers to understand what’s important to them,” Mr Jochinke said.
“What we’ve learned is that farmers want a simple answer: do providers meet the standard or not? That means to get certified under the code is a high threshold, with providers having to meet 100 per cent of the requirements.
“Those that don’t meet the standard will be offered an assessment report, made public on the NFF website, so farmers can dig into the detail for themselves.”
Certification is available to providers now, with the NFF hoping to assess and certify several providers before the end of this year.
“If you’re a business that holds farmers’ data, now’s the time to get in touch. It’s a straightforward, low-cost step to give your customers confidence in how you’re handling their data,” Mr Jochinke said.
“Farmers should start looking for the certification tick and asking their providers whether they’re certified against the code. As a voluntary scheme, it’s that market pressure that will ultimately lift standards and keep everyone accountable.”
For more information, go to the NFF website.