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OrganicDataNetwork: Successful presentation in Brussels

After three years of intensive work, the OrganicDataNetwork, funded under the European Union's 7th Framework Programme for Research, came to an end in December 2014. On December 3, 2014, a meeting took place in Brussels to present the results to EU parliamentarians and the European Commission (DG Agri, DG Research). Interested participants came to listen, ask questions and discuss with the team members.

From left to right: Professor Dr. Raffaele Zanoli, Politechnic University of Ancona, Italy, and OrganicDataNetwork project coordinator; Dr. Hans-Jörg Lutzeyer, DG Research, European Commission; Dr. Susanne Padel, The Organic Reearch Centre Elm Farm, UK; Ivica Karas, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission; Diana Schaack, Agricultural Market Information Company, Germany; Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hamm, University of Kassel, Germany; Ann-Kathrin Trappenberg, IFOAM-EU, Brussels; Dr. Helga Willer Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland; Marco Schlüter, IFOAM-EU, Brussels; Kai Kreuzer, Organic-Market.info, Germany.

Dr. Susanne Padel, Organic Research Centre Elm Farm (ORC), UK

Diana Schaack, Agricultural Market Information Company, Germany

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hamm, University of Kassel, Germany

From the right: Hansjörg Lutzeyer, DG Research, Léon Wietor, Luxemburg

Ivica Karas from the Organic Agriculture Unit of DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission


Marco Schlüter, director of the European Union Group of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM EU), Brussels, welcomed the around 20 guests and project members, which came to the BusinessEurope centre in the Belgian capital.

Project leader Raffaele Zanoli, Università Politecnica delle Marche (Italy), introduced the project and gave insights into the results by highlighting different topics. The improvement of the availability of market intelligence and the establishment of a long term network of stakeholders such as private control bodies, public Administration, organic organisations and data collectors was one of the main focus areas.

Another theme was the improvement of the methodology of data collecting. The OrganicDataNetwork worked on six case studies on improving market data reporting over the three years the project was running, and the results were presented by Susanne Padel, Organic Research Centre (ORC) United Kingdom at the Brussels presentation.

Helga Willer from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Switzerland has been a collecting data on organic agriculture for almost two decades now. She presented the project database, which has been further developed through the project enormously.

As the major outcome of the project, the OrganicDataNetwork’s Code of Good Practice for the collection of Organic Market Data (OrMaCode) with all its details was presented by project coordinator Raffaele Zanoli, Diana Schaack (Agricultural Market Information Company, AMI, Germany) and Ulrich Hamm (University of Kassel, UKS, Germany).

Ulrich  Hamm has stated that if there isn't enough valid data about the market then it is difficult for politicians and the administration to know how high the subsidies for the organic sector should be for appropriate support. The "wild collection" of unconsistent and unsystematic data of former years would need a much better approach. This means on the one hand that organic data has to be included into the national statisics of each country(not only like in Denmark as it is now),

Raffaele Zanoli has suggested, and on the other hand significantly more finances for data collection on a national and the European level have to be allotted. Zanoli presented six recommendations for politics and administration to improve the current situation as e.g. the harmonisation of the data collecting in Europe.

Ivica Karas from the Organic Agriculture unit of the EU-Commission (DG-AGRI) stressed the importance of the OrganicDataNetwork for the future of the development of the organic sector, including the organic market. He has said that in the next year the traceability of products will further be improved by the Trade Control and Expert System of the EU (TRACES). The electronic database is a useful instrument for the administration of transports of animals and products from animals coming from a non EU country.

"This electronic certification for imported organic products is to ensure traceability of all organic products from Third countries, and is therefore not limited to animals or animal products. The electronic certification will also serve as a useful source of statistics on imports of organic products into the EU", explains Mr. Karas. There are 120 countries importing organic products into the EU. Karas also has announced that it is important to give Eurostat more support. "The OrganicDataNetwork project resulted in a relevant and comprehensive set of information on organic markets across Europe, shedding also light on challenges to gather reliable statistics from various private and public sources. The project is complementary to the Action Plan of the Commission for the future of Organic Production in the EU and confirms the Commission's commitment to continue collecting reliable official statistics."

Furter information


Project coordinator: Prof. Dr. Raffaele Zanoli, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy, Tel. +39 071 2204929, zanoli(at)agrecon.univpm.it, www.univpm.it


Orgprints.org: OrganicDataNetwork - How to improve the organic data collection System. Presentations of the Workshop in Brussels

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