Farming 4.0.: CEMA contributes to EU consultation on online platforms

In December, CEMA submitted its contribution to the European Commission's public consultation on online platforms. CEMA's contribution focused in particular on the growing role and importance of online platforms used in agriculture. The FULL contribution to the consultation can be found below.

The main points highlighted in the contribution are:

  • Online platforms in agriculture serve to collect, combine and pool different types and flows of data to enable better decision-making by farmers which will boost the productivity, sustainability and profitability of farms.
  • Online platforms and cloud computing services should be regulated by sector-specific standards set at international level by the industry. In addition, cloud computing services should provide standards based on interoperability and portability, but not at the feature function level where services may differentiate and add value. These differences should be retained for breadth and value of applications.
  • CEMA encourages the development of standards providing for the portability of data to address questions around farmers moving from one platform to another.
  • Data location restrictions are disruptive to the free flow of data. Restrictions to the free flow of data should be carefully evaluated and balanced with other relevant interests.
  • With regards to personal data, sufficiently prescriptive rules are included in existing data protection legislation. With regards to non-personal data, arrangements around data access and data use can be dealt with within the framework of contractual negotiations. Regarding the question of data ownership, the current legislative framework is fit for purpose so that no new regulations are needed for now.
  • Certainty is needed on the question of liability for any advice provided. The existing frameworks are able to address such potential issues whenever they should arise.
  • In order to unleash the full potential of online platforms in agriculture an enabling framework needs to be set at European level. In this context, CEMA asks for the creation of a true and reliable Digital Single Market and would like to underline the fundamental importance to improve broadband infrastructure and access in rural areas
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