Cultivating FAIR principles for agri-food data

Jan Top*, Sander Janssen, Hendrik Boogaard, Rob Knapen, Görkem Şimşek-Şenel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Data generated by the global food system is crucial in the transformation towards sustainable, resilient, and high-quality food production. Although the amount of potentially useful data is growing rapidly, its (re)use is still limited. The FAIR-principles have been developed for making data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable both by humans and machines. This paper explores the further operationalization of the FAIR principles in agriculture and food. Experience shows that several conditions must be fulfilled before data can be effectively shared and reused. First, automated tools must be available for data providers and users. Secondly, we need a community-based approach in developing tools and vocabularies. Thirdly, data cannot be shared by an open-by-default policy only. Finally, scientific insight is needed in how data is actually (re)used in scientific communities. We conclude that bringing the FAIR-principles to full maturity requires a fair balance of efforts within the agri-food communities, supported by a proper infrastructure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106909
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Agriculture
  • Controlled vocabulary
  • Data sharing
  • FAIR principles
  • Food supply chain
  • Ontology


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