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Farmax first company to adopt Farm Data Code of Practice

20 June 2014

Farmax to be first company to adopt Farm Data Code of Practice

Leading farm management software provider Farmax is the first company in New Zealand to begin the Farm Data Code of Practice accreditation process.

Launched on 10 June, the Farm Data Code of Practice outlines steps organisations must take to safeguard farmers’ data and ensure information is stored and shared in the most secure way possible.

By adopting and implementing the Farm Data Code of Practice, Farmax general manager Gavin McEwen said the company will assure farming clients that their data is managed in a responsible way.

“Compliance with the Code of Practice will show that we are committed to furthering the use of information technology-based solutions in the industry. We believe the guidelines set out within the Code of Practice will eventually lead to greater confidence from farmers in how Farmax handles their data,” said Mr McEwen.

“Once more farmers recognise and understand what the Farm Data Code of Practice means for them, it might alter some decisions they make around which organisations they allow to collect, store and share their data.”

McEwen said the way data supports better decision making on farms is increasingly important for those operating in the rural sector.

“More so than ever before, we live in an environment where data is an essential element of the farming business, and seamless exchange of data between systems will soon be the norm.

“Widespread adoption of the Farm Data Code of Practice is an essential first step to ensure the playing field for companies who manage farmer data is level and orderly,” he said.

Farmax has always been focused on collaborating and integrating with other like-minded organisations where possible, and McEwen says the Farm Data Code of Practice will ensure the industry is creating and supporting tools that are of genuine benefit to farmers.

“Integration between computer-based systems is important. On a global scale the agricultural industry in New Zealand is small, so to compete effectively overseas we need to make sure that collaboration within New Zealand is achieved,” says McEwen.

“From a farmer’s perspective there are many good computer-based solutions available to them, but very few integrate well. To enable efficient and effective integration and collaboration, the Farm Data Code of Practice is an excellent step forward for companies like us and others working towards the common goal of having a profitable and sustainable pastoral industry,” said Mr McEwen.

DairyNZ Strategy and Investment Portfolio Manager, Jenny Jago, who chaired the steering committee responsible for Farm Data Code of Practice development acknowledged Farmax for being the first company to put their hand up and begin the process of accreditation.

“Farmax has been enthusiastic about the Code of Practice and we want to recognise them for stepping up and being an industry leader in this respect. Quick on their heels, however, we have five other companies confirmed to begin working through the process of accreditation over the next few months. While many more are indicating they will get on board by the end of the year.

“We’ve generally had a positive response from both farmers and service organisations to the new Code of Practice. Adoption of the Code will allow Farmax and other accredited organisations to provide transparency to their farmer clients while also giving them peace of mind by demonstrating they have strong security processes in place,” she said.

While Farmax already meets many of the requirements of the Farm Data Code of Practice, the company worked through a self-assessment and also signed a statutory declaration of compliance to prove its systems and processes are compliant.

An independent review panel will assess Farmax’s application and then certify the company as compliant.

“Farmax already has many of the security requirements in place; it’s just good business practice. But we have really welcomed the opportunity to be assessed by a third party in that respect,” said Mr McEwen.

FARMAX is a decision support tool for pastoral farmers. It helps farmers plan, monitor, review and analyse their farm operations.

Commercially launched in 1993, Farmax was developed by AgResearch and was born out of 20 years of research. It accurately models the complex biological systems that is pastoral farming.

About the Farm Data Code of Practice
Launched on 10 June 2014, six organisations provided the mandate for the establishment of the Farm Data Code of Practice: Beef & Lamb New Zealand, DairyNZ Limited, Dairy Companies Association of NZ, Federated Farmers, Te Tumu Paeroa and NZ Veterinary Association.

It is currently administered by DairyNZ. The accreditation process involves both a self-assessment and statutory declaration of compliance to prove processes, policies and systems are up to the highest security standards. An independent review panel assesses applications.

Complying organisations receive an annual licence and certificate from DairyNZ and use of the Farm Data Code of Practice trademark. Organisations pay a one-off fee of $1400 to register and an annual licence renewal fee of $900.

The Farm Data Code of Practice 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.

Development of the Farm Data Code of Practice was funded by New Zealand dairy farmers through DairyNZ, and also the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and FarmIQ. It is part of the Transforming the Dairy Value Chain programme, led by DairyNZ and Fonterra, under MPI’s Primary Growth Partnership.

For more information on the Farm Data Code of Practice, visit or phone DairyNZ on 0800 4 DAIRYNZ.


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