Frequently Asked Questions

How was the Code of Practice developed?

Development of the Farm Data Code of Practice was funded by New Zealand dairy farmers through DairyNZ, the Ministry for Primary Industries through the Primary Growth Partnership and FarmIQ Systems.

It was developed over a two-year period in consultation with around 60 rural organisations and 200 industry professionals and farmers. Rezare Systems project-led the Code of Practice development on behalf of funders.

DairyNZ, CRV Ambreed, FarmIQ, Federated Farmers, Fertiliser Association of NZ, Fonterra, LIC and Te Tumu Paeroa formed the industry steering committee which oversaw the development of the Farm Data Code of Practice, finalised in 2014.s.

Who runs the Code?

Farm Data Accreditation Ltd (FDAL) was established to own and manage the Code of Practice.

Seven industry organisations are the shareholders - Beef+Lamb NZ, DairyNZ, NZ Vet Assoc, Dairy Companies Assoc, Meat Industry Assoc, Federated Farmers , Te Tumu Paeroa. Each of these shareholders appoint on Director to the Board, to govern the Farm Data Code of Practice service.

Day to day administrative services are supplied by DairyNZ.

Why is the Code important?


The Farm Data Code of Practice requires organisations to outline steps they take to safeguard farmer data. Compliant organisations agree to take two actions:

  1. They will help farmers and other data users understand a) who has the rights to data, b) the rules for processing and sharing data, and c) data security and storage guidelines.
  2. They will implement practises that provide farmers with utmost confidence their data is safe and is managed appropriately.


The terminology used by farmers on a daily basis is defined differently by the range of organisations with which they share information.

Organisations adhering to the Code commit to using common terminology and dictionaries to make it easier to share – with a farmer’s permission - land and animal data in a very secure manner.

Currently, farm data doesn’t move between organisations in the volumes it could; this is often due to differences in data definitions, the need for multiple data entry or complex integration software.

By increasing the rate at which data can securely move between organisations, the speed of innovation will surely increase. That’s great news for farmers and New Zealand’s rural sector as a whole.

I’m a farmer – why is this relevant to me?

Peace of mind

Farmers share a lot of valuable and confidential information every day with everyone from their farm consultant to their fertiliser company.

The Code gives peace of mind that your data is being stored securely and managed with efficiency and integrity.

The industry believes that, over time, farmers will look to purchase products and services only from those organisations who comply with the Code.

Minimise double data entry

Organisations complying with the Code agree to use similar language and terminology. As organisations increasingly align their data terminology, farmers should see less and less double data entry required over time.

With less time spent inputting the same information into several software programmes and other sources, frustration is minimised and your time can be spent on more productive and enjoyable activities.

Data ownership is clear

Another bonus for farmers is the Code requires organisations to clearly define who owns the rights to farm data after it’s collected. You’ll know where you stand, and can make informed decisions about the organisations you choose to work with.

I’m a farmer and some of the organisations I work with are not accredited – is that a problem?

The Code only became operational in early 2016, and many organisations will take some time to work through their disclosures and practices before they are ready to apply for accreditation. This does not mean that they are non-compliant, or that your data is at risk. The Code is a new mechanism for organisations to demonstrate their commitment to farmers. Ask your organisation if they are planning on becoming accredited under the Code – start the discussion.

Why sign up to the Code?

If you are an organisation that stores, manages and shares land and animal data pertaining to farming businesses, the industry strongly urges you to sign up to the Code.

Five benefits of compliance:

  1. Demonstrate excellence – complying with the Code shows your organisation is committed to excellence and innovation in the rural sector.
  2. Provide farmer assurance – adhering to the Code provides your farmer clients with peace of mind; they can trust you to store, manage and share their data.
  3. Gain a competitive advantage – over time, farmers will look to work with organisations who comply with the Code and display the trademark.
  4. Ease of use – when you comply with the Code, your clients can get on with the business of farming rather than wasting time on double data entry.
  5. Keep up with industry advancement – signing up to the Code future-proofs your organisation and ensures you’re keeping up with industry data standards and practices.
Which organisations are accredited as compliant with the Code?
How does an organisation apply for accreditation under the Code?
  1. Complete a business self-audit using a checklist provided.
  2. Make a statutory declaration of compliance to confirm processes, policies and systems are in line with those outlined in the Code.
  3. Submit your application for assessment by the review panel.
  4. If approved you’ll receive an annual licence and certificate, and provided with the Farm Data Code of Practice trademark for your use
  5. Accreditation is reviewed annually. Organisations complete the self-audit and submit the Application Checklist for renewal of their licence.

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The initiatives are funded by DairyNZ (through the Transforming the Dairy Value Chain programme), the Red Meat Profit Partnership and the Ministry of Primary Industries through the Primary Growth Partnership. The Farm Data Code of Practice is one of three data integration initiatives driven by the pastoral sector on behalf of farmers. The Farm Data Standards, and the Data Linker are complementary tools aimed at getting data moving across the primary sector - securely, efficiently and within a transparent framework.

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