This study investigates the cost of and good practices for FADN data collection in EU Member States during the period 2012-2014 using evidence gathered from existing literature, a survey of EU-28 FADN Liaison Agencies, nine case studies, and interviews with senior policy officials within the European Commission and the OECD. A desk-based study of the comparator system in the USA was also undertaken. Costs were assessed both in money terms and by labour input along the data supply chain. A variety of institutional arrangements are used by Member States to provide data to FADN. Within these, three types of organisation carry out the process of data collection: FADN Liaison Agencies; public advisory bodies; and, accounting firms. Data collection by accounting firms from accounts drawn up at the expense of farmers for tax purposes provides data at the lowest public cost per farm. At the other extreme, highest costs per farm are where advisory agencies combine data collection with provision of extension services. FADN data are widely used by Member States and therefore bring substantial, if unquantified, benefits. Examples of good practices which can be shared between Member States and that are reflected principally in costs and benefits are identified.
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