The rise of big data has brought a fresh raft of governance issues to co-operatives across all sectors, leaving them responsible for a huge store of members’ information.
This is no less true of the agro sector, where big data is having effects throughout the supply chain. Smart sensors and devices are producing information on such factors soil, weather and crop performance that provide unprecedented decision-making capabilities.
With this information shifting the roles and relations between players in agriculture, there are governance implications for data ownership, privacy and security – an issue highlighted at last year’s global conference of the International Cooperative Alliance by Andrew Crane, former CEO of Australian grain co-op CBH.
“Agriculture is one of last industries to get teched,” he told delegates at a workshop on big data. “It’s a physical product – how do we digitise that? But there is scope with use of data to help farmers make a return.
““Who owns the data? Modern farm equipment captures a huge yield of data as it harvests crops. Who owns that?”
Also on the panel was Bob Yuill, deputy chief executive of the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society, about the governance implications for agri-co-ops and data. The News spoke with Mr Yuill as part of its look at co-operative governance.
Are co-op governance systems up to the task of keeping pace with changes in technology?
Source: COOP NEWS