Supporting agrifood systems through international standards

Agritechnica 2023: DIN and ISO join forces to present standardization roadmap on smart farming

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Through the use of modern information and communication technologies, smart farming promises to boost productivity and efficiency in agriculture. For networking to function across the entire agrifood value chain, standards and specifications are key. They specify interfaces and uniform data formats and allow open access to new technologies.

This is where international standards on smart farming come in, where ground-breaking work has been undertaken, in the form of a roadmap, to identify existing needs and the direction of standards development in the coming years for the agrifood sector.

Together with ISO, the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) will be presenting this Roadmap on Smart Farming at Agritechnica – the world’s leading agricultural trade fair – in Hanover from 12 to 18 November 2023. The two organizations will be sharing a stand in Hall 15 (Stand J37) and showcasing the value of standards and specifications across the entire agrifood value chain.

Standardization roadmap on smart farming

This Roadmap was developed by the ISO Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) on Smart Farming, a group of ISO experts under the joint leadership of ANSI and DIN, the respective ISO members for the USA and Germany. As part of the work, 150 experts from 20 countries analysed the standardization landscape along the entire food value chain. Nine thematic areas were examined in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): crop production, livestock, urban farming, terminology and semantics, social aspects, supply chains, original equipment manufacturers, climate adaptation, environment and data.

The key part of the roadmap is the extensive recommendations for new standardization projects across the entire agricultural and food chains as well as structural recommendations for international cooperation. Development focuses on uniform agricultural semantics and fundamental requirements for data-driven systems in the agrifood sector. The primary emphasis is on standardizing agricultural data types, with the creation of a data type registry to facilitate the exchange of data. This creates a unified data reference architecture in the agrifood value chain.

At the conclusion of the work on the Roadmap for Smart Farming, Christoph Winterhalter, DIN Executive Board Chairman and ISO Vice-President (Policy), said: “Standardization can help to harness the full potential of technology in agricultural and agrifood value creation. By considering not only agricultural production but also the upstream and downstream production and distribution of food, we can now, for the first time, provide a comprehensive and structured recommendation of necessary standardization needs and translate them into concrete projects.”

Sergio Mujica, ISO Secretary-General, commented: “Cooperation among the various institutions and experts is key for the vast and constantly expanding field of smart farming. The ISO SAG on Smart Farming has made it possible for the first time to compile on an international level a standardization roadmap for the agrifood sector. We are looking forward to starting work within our new technical committee in early 2024 to bring these ideas to fruition.”

International cooperation in smart farming

ISO has created a new technical committee (ISO/TC 347) on data-driven agrifood systems, aiming to improve interoperability in the agricultural sector and to respond to the needs highlighted in the roadmap. All ISO national standards bodies can contribute to this work, which will start in April 2024.

Talks on standardization at Agritechnica

Interested parties can find out more about the results of the Standardization Roadmap and the topic of smart farming at Agritechnica on 15 and 17 November.

  • 15 November 2023 at 3:30 pm: In the exposition area for industry experts (System & Components), DIN and ANSI, the US standards institute, will be jointly presenting on stage the results of the ISO Strategy Advisory Group (SAG) and the new ISO/TC 347, Data-driven agrifood systems.
  • 17 November 2023 at 4:30 pm: DIN activities on smart farming will also be presented to the audience on one of the DLG technical stages. Joint discussions on how agriculture can contribute to making Europe climate neutral will also take place.


About DIN

DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, is the independent platform for standardization in Germany and worldwide. As a partner for industry, research and society as a whole, DIN plays a major role in supporting the marketability of innovative solutions through standardization – be it in topics around the digitization of business and society or in the context of research projects. More than 36 500 experts from industry, research, consumer protection and the public sector bring their expertise to work on standardization projects managed by DIN.

About ISO

ISO is an international organization with a membership of 169 national standards bodies. Through its global network, it facilitates the development of voluntary and market-relevant International Standards that support innovation, sustainability, and global trade.

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