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
“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
“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
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
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
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 www.farmdatacode.org.nz
or phone DairyNZ on 0800 4 DAIRYNZ.