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OrganicDataNetwork at BIOFACH 2014

On the 13th of February, the European OrganicDataNetwork project organised a workshop at the BIOFACH organic trade fair in Nuremburg, Germany, to present the first results of the ongoing case studies on improved data collection methods in several countries and the Mediterranean region.

Session of the OrganicDataNetwork project at BIOFACH 2014: From left to right: Hans-Jörg Lutzeyer, Eruopean Commission; Marco Schlüter, IFOAM EU; Raffaele Zanoli, Project coordinator of the OrganicdataNetwork project, Polytechnic University of Ancona. Picture: Helga Willer, FiBL


The workshop on teh six case studies of the OrganicDataNetwork project was moderated by Marco Schlüter of the European Union Groupd of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM EU). Dr Hans-Jörg Lutzeyer from the Directorare General DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission stated: “The Commission is looking forward to see the final results of the OrganicDataNetwork project to provide, especially for smaller enterprises, better access to market data”.

Project coordinator Raffaele Zanoli, Università Politecnica delle Marche, presented a project overview. Most activities are now ongoing, and the OrganicDataNetwork has already contributed to several publications: “Organic in Europe-prospects and developments” published by IFOAM EU in 2014 (co-financed by DG Agri), “Facts and figure on agriculture in EU” published by DG Agri 2013 and the “The World of Organic Agriculture 2014”, jointly published by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL and IFOAM.

The first case study was presented by Anja Vieweger from The Organic Research Centre (ORC). In the UK, an annual Market report is published by the Soil Association, and the case study aims to improve the 2014 publication, expected in March. ORC carried out a survey of English organic producers’ intentions (supplementing similar surveys in Scotland and Wales) and the Soil Association carried out a survey on farmers’ markets and farm shops.  

The German case study was presented by Diana Schaack from Agrarmarkt Informations-GesellschaftmbH (AMI). Data are limited on livestock production likely to reach the market, exports and retail sales data through non-multiples, and there are no data on catering sales. With the case study, AMI aims to improve the data with an annual compulsory survey among the control bodies. AMI has published the annual market report, and work on a price report on selected European countries will soon begin.

Michal Lošťák from Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CULS), presented the Czech case study. Through interviews data collection bodies, problems in the synchronisation of the data collected through various channels were identified (e.g. FADN and organic farmers’ survey). The case study aims to bring data from various sources together to improving the existing organic data reports through better triangulation of data.

Dorian Fléchet from Agence Bio presented the French case study. Agence Bio aims tried to improve the annual organic market evaluation with several surveys of operators and of multiple retailers in relation to import and export volumes, organic fruit and vegetables in general supermarkets, wine production, pork and through better data harmonisation, for example of the product category names for some products (fruit, vegetables, groceries).
The main aim of the Italian case study, presented by Francesco Solfanelli the Università Politecnica delle Marche (UNIVPM), is to improve international and domestic market data. The Ministerial and customs datasets of imports are integrated into one common database. An expert assessment for each crop at regional level has been carried out to estimate production volume and value. Finally, UNIVPM is cross checking GFK-Eurisko household panel data with the ASSOBIO to improve the estimate of the retail sales value in non-specialized shops.

Patrizia Pugliese, from CIHEAM-IAMB, reported the preliminary results of a study of the selected Mediterranean countries which are members of the Mediterranean Organic Agriculture Network (MOAN). Data of organic operators and land use are commonly available but improvement is aimed regarding product classifications, production volumes, availability and quality of import and export data. CIHEAM-IAMB closely collaborates with relevant stakeholders and fostering the inter-institutional dialogue.

The improved national market reports are due to be published this year and rurther results will be presented at the next project meeting in Tallin in May 2014.

Text: Josefine Johansson, IFOAM EU, Brussels. The text was orignally published in Newsletter 3/2014 of IFOAM EU

Further information

Project contacts

  • Project coordinator: Prof. Dr. Raffaele Zanoli, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy, Tel. +39 071 2204929, zanoli@agrecon.univpm.it, www.univpm.
  • Project manager: Dr. Daniela Vairo, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy, Tel. +39 071 2204994, daniela@agrecon.univpm.it, www.univpm.it



The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the authors, and they do not represent necessarily the views of the European Commission or its services. The Commission is not liable for any use that may be made of the information.


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


Dr. Daniela Vairo
Università Politecnica delle Marche
Via Brecce Bianche
60131 Ancona
Tel. +39 071 2204994

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