A world-leading initiative by Food Agility CRC in collaboration with the National Farmers’ Federation and tier one legal firm MinterEllison will build trust and transparency for farmers sharing data.
The Data Sharing Agreement Template incorporates best practice data management and sharing arrangements for the benefit of all parties.
The legal document draws out key considerations to be discussed between farmers and service providers, including how data will be transferred, stored and disposed and who else can access it. It also provides transparency in roles, responsibilities and ownership of intellectual property.
The Data Sharing Agreement Template can be used as it is or as a reference, with service providers incorporating elements into their own in-house agreements. It is the first of its kind in the world.
Food Agility CRC Chief Commercial Officer, Camilla Roberts, said sharing data was critical to innovation in Australian agriculture.
“Farmers generate the data necessary for researchers and service providers to build and deliver new technology, which in turn helps farmers be more sustainable and productive,” Ms Roberts said.
“But many farmers are reluctant to hand over their data due to concerns about privacy, commercial advantage or loss of control.
“This template provides the foundation for best practice in sharing data and will help get the relationship off on the right foot.”
NFF CEO Tony Mahar said the Data Sharing Agreement Template built on the NFF’s Farm Data Code, released in 2020.
“The template agreement balances competing tensions, ensuring farmers their data is appropriately managed while giving service providers access to the data they need to innovate,” Mr Mahar said.
MinterEllison Special Counsel, Nicole Reid, said many agreements dealing with use of sensitive data were confusing, with important details buried in the fine print.
“Clarity and transparency are always the best policies in arrangements between farmers and service providers. Getting the legal agreement right at the outset, with all parties on the same page, can save a lot of conflict down the track,” Ms Reid said.
The template was completed in August and is now being piloted in Food Agility CRC research collaborations.
Commercial service providers working with farmers who wish to access the template agreement should contact Camilla Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org