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FA European Information System for Organic Markets

{Project} EU-EISfOM: FA European Information System for Organic Markets. Runs 2003 - 2006. Project Leader(s): Richter, Toralf, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), CH-5070 Frick.

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Online at: http://www.eisfom.org/


Der europäische Biomarkt entwickelt sich schnell. Er wächst jedes Jahr um ca. 20 %. Um die
Förderung des biologischen Landbaus entsprechend einer harmonischen Angebots- und
Nachfrageentwicklung ausrichten zu können, werden detaillierte Informationen über die Produktion,
die Vermarktung und den Konsum von Bioprodukten benötigt. Bisher liegen nur lückenhaft Daten
zum Biomarkt in den einzelnen europäischen Ländern vor. Eine gezielte und regelmässige
Erfassung der wichtigsten Kennziffern nationaler Biomärkte existiert quasi bisher nicht.
Innerhalb eines 3-jährigen Forschungsprojektes sollen nun die Grundlagen für den Aufbau einer europäischen Datenbank gelegt werden, in der regelmässig auf Zuverlässigkeit geprüfte Daten über die nationalen Biomärkte veröffentlicht werden. Das Projekt beginnt im Herbst 2002 und dauert bis Herbst 2005. Neben dem FiBL sind Projektpartner aus den Ländern Deutschland, Grossbritanien, Dänemark, den Niederlanden, Italien, Österreich und Polen beteiligt.

Summary translation

State of the Art:
EU-research projects like OFCAP (FAIR3-CT96-1794) and OMIaRD (QLK5-2000-01124) have shown that in many countries regional or national data gathering takes place. Often, only very basic data such as certified organic holdings, land areas and livestock numbers are reported. Important market data, e.g. the amount of production, consumption, international trade or producer and consumer prices, do not exist in most European countries. Often, there are only rough estimates of the levels of production and consumption in some European countries. Standardization is missing and data are seldom comparable. Furthermore, detailed information on specific commodities is missing. Hence, investment decisions are taken under conditions of great uncertainty. Another problem resulting from the absence of hard market data is that, if politicians want to support organic agriculture, they do not know whether it will be better to support production, consumption or to solve problems in the supply chain.
Definition of the problem:
European markets for organic products are developing fast. In Europe and other parts of the world, more and more farming land is converted to organic production. In order to adjust production and consumption levels, detailed market information is needed; especially for decisions on converting specific land or livestock enterprises requiring high investments into glasshouses, housing, processing facilities etc. with a long-term impact are taken. Since public subsidies (regional / national / European) are heavily involved in these investments, valid, accurate and up-to-date data information is essential not only for farmers or gardeners, but also for policy-makers, consultants, processing industry etc.
Project aims including target group:
The aim of this Concerted Action (CA) is to build up a framework for reporting valid and reliable data for relevant production and market data about the European organic sector in order to meet the needs of policy makers, farmers, processors, wholesalers and other actors involved in organic markets. This network will closely co-operate with regional, national and European statistical offices as well as market partners on all levels, using existing structures for collecting and processing data on the organic market as well as stimulating the development of new ones by adapting existing models.
This will be achieved through the following specific objectives:
1.2.1 review existing systems of data collection and processing for organic as well as conventional markets in order to understand their characteristics and identify opportunities for development and improvement (WP 1,2,3)
1.2.2 develop proposals for harmonizing existing data collection and processing methods, assess measures for improving data quality and provide tools for the development of new data collection systems at various levels within national frameworks/institutional circumstances (WP4)
1.2.3 co-ordinate and evaluate pilot data collection and processing systems (WP5)
1.2.4 stimulate further development of data collection and processing by integrating with national and international statistical affairs offices and preparing a framework for the development of a European wide database for organic markets (WP6);
1.2.5 provide relevant recommendations to the EU in order to better coordinate and support data collection on organic production, processing and imports as well as prices (WP6, WP7).
1.3.1 An up-to-date, systematic review of existing data collection systems for organic markets, with particular attention to production, processing, trade (imports and exports), prices and links between them. A report on existing data collection systems for organic markets and their characteristics will be produced, which will include a description of existing data collection and processing systems for conventional markets in order to develop reference models or identify possibilities to merge systems. This report will cover all 15 EU countries, all candidate/applicant states and 4 EEA countries.
1.3.2 Proposals to improve data quality and data collection systems for organic markets with particular attention to overcoming barriers which hinder the establishment of national data collection systems. Recommendations on the establishment and development of data collection systems for organic markets will be produced, taking into consideration the widely varying structures across Europe, and the need to establish systems from scratch in some countries.
1.3.3 Recommendations for future development and co-ordination of data collection systems in 32 European countries (EU 15 + 13 accession + 4 non-EU countries). A framework for the long-term establishment of a European database on organic markets containing recommendations for Eurostat (D5) will be published. These recommendations will also include proposals on the integration of conventional and organic data collection and processing systems in Europe.
1.3.4 Circulation of information to farmers, processors, wholesalers, policy makers, public institutions, market research institutes and other firms and institutions in order to stimulate willingness to participate in future data collection;
1.3.5 A prototype database and web site (D10) containing:
-results of partners’ current research activities;
-standards to ensure quality of data collection and processing;
-recommendations for establishing data collection and processing systems for organic markets;
-documents produced during the concerted action.
Results, conclusion, state of the art:
The analysis of methodological issues shows that quality assurance concepts are a key issue for improving the quality of data collection, processing and dissemination. In many statistical institutions like Eurostat, quality assurance concepts are used to improve the overall quality of services they provide. TQM and EFQMs and other concepts are an integral part of quality management. The experiences of Statistics Denmark show that easy and robust quality controls can be used to get reliable and accurate data. The key question, however, will be to decide on which level data quality assurance should be implemented in the national statistical institutions. An easy to implement quality system with low cost should be the basis to be developed to a complete TQM concept with a standard above the minimum standard. This will be an important part to build-up a harmonised system in an enlarged Europe, with Eurostat as the central statistical unit.
Basis of a quality management concept should be the recommendations of the leadership group on quality in the European Statistical System (ESS). They have developed a framework for a quality management system based on a quality definition and a list of dimensions of quality. The implementation of the quality management system is mainly based on the EFQM approach. For development and implementation of an international harmonised quality management system for the European Information System for Organic Markets, a special leadership group similar to the leadership group on quality in the ESS should be established. This group should be in contact with the leadership group of the European Statistical System to keep up-to-date with the development and implementation of quality management sytems. National and international experts related to the EISfOM project should be incorporated so that in future market actors and policy makers could decide on the basis of data with a high quality.
Results of the interviews with experts and stakeholders show that ex-post harmonisation will be an adequate strategy for most data collecting and processing systems. Other strategies like input harmonisation will be too ambitious at the moment but might be a strategy in the long run. In this context IT should be an integral part to improve and speed up all steps from data collection to dissemination.
Most of the experts agreed that certification bodies should be obliged to collect and process their data but should be supported by fundings for their extra workload. A voluntary system will not lead to a harmonised system with a minimum standard of data quality. It was agreed that a EU-Commission leadership for implementation is needed.
The positive experience of some countries like Denmark with common operator identification numbers should be a basis for discussion in the other countries to develop similar systems. It was further proposed that meeting and working groups have to be established where all related national and international experts should be integrated to discuss possible solutions to develop and harmonise data collection, processing and dissemination. For all levels it was suggested that an easy and timely access to data especially an online access is important which is in accordance to the new dissemination practice of Eurostat to allow free access to data.
Finally, it became clear that much effort has to be made to convince the key persons at the Commission, DG Agri, Eurostat and in the institutions of the European countries that organic farming should get a high priority making additional resources available so that organic farming statistics can be developed to a system needed by policy makers and market actors. From most of the experts it was highlighted that the next steps should not be too ambitious so that the aims can be reached.
Proposals on the different actor levels indicate that on the production, processor and wholesaler level, certification bodies should be obliged to collect data on these levels. This should be supported by the development of electronic data collection tools, for quality assurance and reduced workload of data collectors and operators as well as for the development of a harmonised system for dissemination of (electronic) reports. Inspection bodies have to be funded for extra workload. Besides, the introduction of an identification system, which gives one identification number to all market actors in every country of the EU, can help to simplify administrative problems.
On the trade level, discussion shows that the existing data collection on the Intra- and Extra-EU-Trade level can be extended to a differentiation between organic and conventional data. This will lead to an organic market data basis, which market actors and policy makers are looking for.
The situation on the retailer and consumer level is much more difficult than on the other levels. As there is no official system and as the main data collectors are private companies competing in the market, the only solution seems to be to develop data collection and processing systems parallel to the existing systems for total data. As everywhere in the public administration, budgets have been lowered over the last few years. Therefore, policy makers and responsible statisticians must discuss the question of introducing and implementing new information systems on organic markets.
Involved organisations, project partners:
-University of Wales Aberystwyth, Institute of Rural Sciences, Llanbadarn Campus, Aberystwyth (UK)
-Leopold Franzens Universität Innsbruck (Uni Ibk), Zentrum für Berglandwirtschaft ,Technikerstrasse 13, A-6020 Innsbruck (Austria)
-University of Kassel, Faculty of Ecological Agricultural Sciences, Postfach 1252 , Steinstrasse 19, D-37213 Witzenhausen (Germany)
-Zentrale Markt- und Preisberichtstelle für Erzeugnisse der Ernährungs-, Land- und Forstwirtschaft GmbH (ZMP), Rochusstr. 2, D-53123 Bonn (Germany).
-Università Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Informatica, Gestionale e dell'Automazione (DIIGA), Università Politecnica delle Marche via Brecce Bianche, I-60131 Ancona, (Italy)
-Danish Research Centre for Organic Farming (DARCOF), PO Box 50, Research Centre Foulum, DK-8830 Tjele (Denmark
-Warsaw Agricultural University (WAU/SGGW), Faculty of Human Nutrition and Consumer Studies, ul Nowoursynowska 159c, PL 02-787 Warszawa (Poland)
-Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI)
-P.O. Box 29703, Burgermeester Patijnlaan 19, NL-2502 LS Den Haag (The Netherlands)
Responsible institution:
University of Wales Aberystwyth, Institute of Rural Sciences

EPrint Type:Project description
Keywords:Organic data collection and processing systems, statistics, data input harmonisation, data output harmonisation, Sozio-Ökonomie, Statistik, EISfOM
Subjects: Food systems > Markets and trade
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Socio-Economics
Research funders: Switzerland > Staatssekretariat für Bildung und Forschung
European Union > EISfOM
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/de/schweiz/forschung/soziooekonomie.html, http://orgprints.org/perl/search/advanced?keywords=Statistik+EISfOM&keywords_merge=ALL&projects=fibl-socio-economics &projects_merge=ANY&_satisfyall=ALL&_order=byname&_action_search=Search, http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/qual/organic/
Project ID:QLRT-2001-02400
Start Date:1 April 2003
End Date:31 March 2006
Deposited By: Richter, Dr. Toralf
ID Code:6220
Deposited On:29 Jan 2009
Last Modified:07 Sep 2010 10:06
Document Language:German - Deutsch
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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