Objectives and approach

FLINT provides an updated data-infrastructure needed by the agro-food sector and policy makers to provide up to date information on farm level indicators on sustainability and other new relevant issues. Better decision making is facilitated by taking into account the sustainability performance of farms on a wide range of relevant topics, such as (1) market stabilization; (2) income support; (3) environmental sustainability; (4) climate change adaptation and mitigation; (5) innovation; and (6) resource efficiency. The approach explicitly considers the heterogeneity of the farming sector in the EU and its member states. Together with the farming and agro-food sector the feasibility of these indicators is determined.

FLINT takes into account the increasing needs for sustainability information by the national and international retail and agro-food sector. The FLINT approach is supported by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform and the Sustainability Consortium in which the agro-food sector actively participates. FLINT established a pilot network of more than 1000 farms (representative of farm diversity at EU level, including the different administrative environments in the different MS) that is well suited for the gathering of these data.

The lessons learned and recommendations from the empirical research conducted in 9 purposefully chosen MS are used to estimate and discuss the effects of extending it to all 28 MS. This is very useful if the European Commission should decide to upgrade the pilot network to an operational EU-wide system.