A new independent Council formed to advance British farm data governance

8th June 2022

We are delighted to announce the forming of an industry-led, multi-stakeholder group, to define the gold standard principles for farm data governance in British agriculture.

The British Farm Data Council, chaired by former CEO of NIAB, Prof Tina Barsby OBE, will seek knowledge and opinions from along the food supply chain on the issues of farm data ownership, sharing, and security with a view to identifying a gold standard for all companies and organisations involved in digital agriculture.

While many organisations across the supply chain have been wrestling with data governance and ethics over the past decade, these have been isolated efforts without the guidance of generally agreed governance principles.

This initiative will lead on establishing a recognisable industry mark for data operators who meet this gold standard, giving farmers and wider supply chains greater trust and confidence in engaging in data systems and data collaborations.

Prof Barsby explains: “We all know that digital agriculture represents a set of tools that have the potential to improve the economic and environmental footprint of agriculture in the UK. 

“However, having surveyed senior members of a range of stakeholders along the food supply chain, there is a clear recognition of the importance of farm data governance, but there is also a general unease that things are not being done properly, there are little or no safeguards outside the narrow confines of GDPR legislation, and that no one is sure “what good looks like”. 

“Therefore, there exists a great opportunity to improve trust in data across the British food & farming industry, and thereby truly unleash data sharing, collaboration, and value for the industry, especially farmers and growers; all the while ensuring a commonly recognised standard of care, security, and ownership.”

The initiative has been sparked by the data intelligence company, YAGRO, which will incubate the British Farm Data Council for up to two years to develop its own momentum and resources. Gareth Davies, Managing Director of YAGRO and Member of the new Council, says, “I am delighted to initiate and support the formation of this critical industry initiative, which will act as the guiding principles for all of us data experts, operators, and most importantly farmers themselves.”

“Under Tina’s leadership we have assembled a very knowledgeable Council of industry leaders, and YAGRO will be faithful adopters of the gold standard governance aspirations from this group. I’m very excited to see where it will lead us, and the industry.”



1.     Meet the initial members of the British Farm Data Council

2.     Follow the progress of the Council on Twitter @FarmDataCouncil

3.     For more information, please contact Dr Julian Little on 07900 276 999

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