European FADN organization

What is FADN?

The Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) is an European system for accountancy data collection from agricultural holdings which has been established in 1965 (Council Regulation EEC/79/65). FADN expands as new Member States access the European Union (EU). FADN is a necessary and irreplaceable tool used for creating Common Agricultural Policy of the EU. Data collected within this network is used first of all for:

  • annual specification of the income of agricultural holdings operating on the territory of the Community,
  • analysis of the business operation of agricultural holdings,
  • evaluation of the effects of planned changes regarding agriculture in the Community.

Who is participating in the system?
At the beginning agricultural holdings from 6 founding countries participated in the system. Along with the accession of new Member States the number of participants in the system grew. Currently the FADN system functions in 27 EU Member States and covers over 81 thousand of agricultural holdings.
The responsibility for FADN data collection rests with the Liaison Agencies in each Member State.


Fundamental rules of FADN
System is based on three fundamental rules, which were defined in the Commission Regulation creating the system. They are the following:

  • Rule 1: Farmer participates in the FADN on voluntary basis,
  • Rule 2: It is prohibited for any person participating or having participated in the data network to divulge any individual accountancy data,
  • Rule 3: It is prohibited to use FADN data for tax purposes.

Fixing the size and structure of sample of agricultural holdings to FADN system

Farms participating in FADN are classified according to Community Typology for Agricultural Holdings. Until the end of 2014 classification rules were defined by the Commission Regulation (EC) No 1242/2008 of 8 December 2008 establishing a Community typology for agricultural holdings (Official Journal of the European Union, L 335 p. 3, 13.12.2008).
Since 2015, the legal provisions on Community Typology for Agricultural Holdings have been integrated together with the FADN legislation. Commission Regulation (EC) No 1242/2008 has been repealed by Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1198/2014 of 1 August 2014 supplementing Council Regulation (EC) No 1217/2009 of 30 November 2009 setting up a network for the collection of accountancy data on the incomes and business operation of agricultural holdings in the European Community. For more information on Community Typology legislation please click on METHODOLOGY -> TYPOLOGY -> Rules by SO.
Valid methodological manual on community typology is RI/CC 1500 rev. 4 TYPOLOGY HANDBOOK.


Classification of agricultural holdings is carried out according to two criteria:

  • Economic size,
  • Type of farming.

Economic size of a holding is expressed in a sum of all Standard Outputs (SO) for all agricultural activities existing in that farm. Type of farming of agricultural holding is based on a share of SO for each group of agricultural activities in the total SO of the farm.


Standard Output is the average monetary value of the agricultural output of an agricultural product (crop or livestock) over the reference period of 5 years, per 1 ha or 1 head of livestock per a year, in average production conditions in particular geographical units (regions).


In the field of European FADN observation there are commercial farms which belong to the group of farms generating, in a given FADN region or a country, about 90% of the value of SO.

Thresholds of economic size establishing the minimum size of agricultural holdings  included into FADN field of observation differs between Member States. It is a result of existing diversity in the agricultural structure of particular Member States. Liaison Agencies from each Member State are obliged to prepare selection plan of agricultural holdings when the full Farm Structure Survey data are available. Selection plan accepted by National Committee is presented for approval to the Community Committee on FADN.


The Farm Return
After an accounting year a Liaison Agency from each Member State prepares a special questionnaire with variables called a farm return. The farm return is generated for each farm belonging to representative sample of farms approved by European Commision.


The farm return reports are transmitted to EC electronically via specific internet application called RICA-1. The scope, format and  method of entering the data necessary for the farm return creation are precisely described in the EC Regulation. This enables generating of mutual sets of data in the EU-27.


Regarding to the farm return, an applied handbook comprising methodology of data collection can be found under FARM RETURN DATA DEFINITIONS.


FADN Standard Results
Standard results are sets of aggregated variables calculated on the basis of data derived from Farm Returns submitted by Liaison Agencies of the European Union Member States.


At present all financial results are expressed in euro (previously in ecu). This enables grouping and analyzing results of particular Member States at Community level and direct comparison of results between Member States.


Reports making use of the standard results are compiled by DG AGRI employees (Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development, Unit C. 3) of the European Commission, which is the body responsible for FADN.


In order to avoid identification of particular holding, which participate in the FADN, Commission does not publish averaged results data from the set comprising fewer than 15 farms.


The Standard Results are publicly available on the European Commission website and updated regularly after each data amendment done by Member States.


Definition of variables used in FADN standard results along with methodological remarks are available in the official document RI/CC 1750 (ex RI/CC 882) Definitions of Variables used in FADN standard results.