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B1: The EUROSTAT Code of Practice & OrMaCode Code of Practice

If an organisation wants to collate and publish organic market data, it is very important that this should be done according to precise standards of good practice.

Standardised data collection procedures are needed to ensure the harmonisation of data, allowing an effective comparison of information that relates to different time periods, countries and sources. At present, the lack of a standardised system of data collection limits the usefulness of many data collected, since time series cannot be built and country comparisons are de facto limited.

The European Statistical System, as established by Regulation (EC) 223/2009, has developed a European Statistics Code of Practice (ESCP) to ensure "independent high quality information on the economy and society" in Europe. Statistical authorities - including the Commission (Eurostat), national statistical institutes and other authorities responsible for the development, production and dissemination of European statistics - have committed themselves to adhere to that Code, which consists of 15 Principles.

The Principles of the Code of Practice - revised in 2011 - ultimately guarantee that the data are collected and disseminated according to a common quality framework.

For each of the Principles - which cover the institutional environment, statistical production processes and statistical output - a set of indicators of good practice provides a reference for reviewing the implementation of the Code.

The aim of this document is to set out a code of practice for the initiation and maintenance of good organic market data collection and publication procedures. The OrMaCode Code of Practice is intended to help facilitate further progress in the field of organic market data development, production and dissemination in Europe.

The OrMaCode Code of Practice is not only aimed at new market data providers. It is also hoped that it will help existing ones to check and improve current statistical practices.
The OrganicDataNetwork Project is committed to establishing a permanent network of organic market data providers beyond the duration of the Project. The OrMaCode Code of Practice represents a fundamental tool to help establish a long-term partnership among the interested parties, striving for joint cooperation and continuous interaction among data providers.

The long-term network – which in the following will be referred to with the same short name as the Project (OrganicDataNetwork) – will allow for increasing integration and harmonisation among the statistical processes and outputs of the involved parties, as well as the maintenance and continuous improvement of this Code and its associated manual. The current partners of the OrganicDataNetwork should be considered as founding members of a larger network to be expanded in the years to come.

The OrMaCode Code of Practice is organised according to the same three sections of the European Statistics Code of Practice, and considers itself an extension to that specifically aimed at providing guidance and support to organic market statistical information providers.