Council adopts Farm Sustainability Data Network regulation

Carbon Brief, 2023Carbon Brief, 2023

Today, the Council gave its final green light to the Farm Sustainability Data Network (FSDN) regulation.

The aim of the newly adopted regulation is to improve the sustainability of the EU’s food systems through an enhanced data collection process that takes into account environmental and social data, along with the economic data already collected via the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN).

FADN becomes FSDN

The newly adopted FSDN regulation adapts the FADN regulation in order to allow the collection of the additional data necessary for the pursuit of the objectives of the common agricultural policy (CAP) and of the European Green Deal and its ‘farm to fork’ and biodiversity strategies.

The current FADN is a database of microeconomic and accountancy data collected every year, based on a common methodology, from a sample of more than 80 000 EU farms, designed to be statistically representative.

The revised regulation will provide for the collection of environmental and social data, in addition to the data already collected under the FADN regulation.

Greater sustainability through better data collection

Thanks to the revised regulation:

  • links with other data collection initiatives will be improved, thereby reducing the administrative burden
  • the data collected will be used for research and policy-making, with the overarching goal of monitoring and improving sustainability efforts
  • advisory services for farmers will be improved and better tailored

Participation in the data collection process will be voluntary, while member states will be encouraged to develop incentives for farmers to share their data. The new system will ensure that farmers’ data is secure and protected.

Background and next steps

The European Green Deal and its ‘farm to fork’ and biodiversity strategies have introduced environmental and climate targets for the farming sector, in order to contribute to achieving the EU’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050.

Progress towards reaching these targets needs to be measured by means of appropriate data and indicators. That is why the European Commission proposed converting the FADN into the FSDN regulation, thus putting climate and environmental data at the centre of data collection efforts in the farming sector.

The first trilogue negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament on this proposal took place on 7 June 2023. The deal between the two institutions was struck during their second trilogue meeting, on 29 June 2023.

On 11 September 2023, the text was endorsed by the Special Committee on Agriculture, and it was also requested that the letter of offer be sent to the European Parliament.

The regulation will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal.