Get data moving
- Retain Control

Farmers face increasing demands for data. Suppliers, processors, markets, agribusiness services, industry bodies and compliance authorities all ask for information about farm operations and productivity.

They’re often after similar information and farmers find themselves delivering or entering the same information and data to multiple parties and systems.

The Data Linker aims to:


ease that data entry load, while allowing farmers to retain control over who sees their data


improve the quality of data used, by choosing the best and most current source of data

reduce cost

reduce the cost of data collection by making it easier to share data between systems


drive innovation and capture opportunities from having improved and readily available data.

Farmers retain control – a key feature of Data Linker is the farmer permission step which allows farmers to choose and manage how their data is shared.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join?

Farmers don’t join Data Linker – but the service and industry organisations that hold your farm data can. They register with the Data Linker, and identify what data sets (types of data) they’re able to share. They don’t identify which farms or disclose any private information – just the type of data they’re willing to make available. They also attach licence conditions which protect both your rights and theirs.

Service Providers can also register that they want to receive data, in which case they must agree with the licence conditions on offer from other data providers.

How do I know if my Service Providers are using Data Linker?

Check our List of Registered Organisations.

If your Service providers are registered, then you can be confident that they’ll be sourcing or sharing your farm data when the time is right. You’ll know when that first happens, because you’ll be asked to give permission.

How do I Maintain Control?

When a system that you use needs data, it will query Data Linker to find out what other organisations may already hold that data. They’ll come back to you with a message:


“We need your carcass data please, and we may be able to source it from one of these providers:

  • Meat Processor A
  • Meat Processor B
  • Meat Processor C

Choose the best source for your farm and give us permission to retrieve your data directly by clicking on the ‘Give Permission’ button.”

You only need to give permission once, and that remains in force until you revoke it. That means that your service organisation can retrieve data as and when required, allowing them to always provide the best service to you.

How do I Revoke Permission?

Log into your account with the system that provides your data. You should be able to manage permissions in your account settings. Contact your Data Provider directly if you need help.

Why doesn’t my Service Provider appear on the list of data sources to choose from?

You’ve received a message from, say, a feed company, suggesting they could access your livestock data from a range of sources, but the company that holds your livestock data doesn’t appear on the list. This means either that:

  • your livestock company has not registered with Data Linker to provide that type of data; OR
  • your livestock company is registered to provide data, but the feed company has not accepted the licence terms for that data.
Why do Service Providers attach Licence conditions when it’s my data?

It takes effort to collect and properly manage data. Organisations may have added value to your farm data by applying their own intellectual property (eg predicting feed wedges from base input data).

Organisations who have invested this effort want a measure of control in the use of the data they collected, even if the farmer gives permission.

Organisations will be able to apply a licence to sets of data they make available. This could embody rules about attribution, aggregation and derivation, or even fees.

How can I Trust a Service Provider to manage and share my Data with Due Care?

Some organisations have become accredited under the Farm Data Code of Practice, and this means that they have met industry standards around disclosures and good practices for data management and storage. They’ll display the Code of Practice trademark on their website.

Reputable organisations should tell customers about the way in which they store and handle their data. Often, these disclosures are contained in your User Agreements and Terms and Conditions. Check their website, or ask your representative for more information.

Who Owns Data Linker?

Data Linker was developed with industry funding from DairyNZ, Red Meat Profit Partnership and the Ministry of Primary Industries through the Primary Growth Partnership Programme. Ownership of Data Linker has been vested in an independent company to operate and maintain the service on a commercial not-for-profit basis.

Organisations that use Data Linker pay a fee which covers the cost of maintaining and improving the service. There is no profit motive – Data Linker exists for the benefit of the primary sector.

DairyNZ and Beef+Lamb NZ are equal shareholders in Data Linker Ltd.

What Value does Data Linker Add?

Data Linker simplifies and standardises data transfer arrangements, making it an efficient and low cost option for scaling up data sharing across the primary sector. It also provides a transparent framework so that farmers understand and can control how their data is shared.

It does this by:

  • Supplying modern secure technical protocols that allow service providers to seek farmer permission for data sharing;
  • Standardising the data sets that are commonly used to avoid having many different one to one connections for the same type of data;
  • Allowing organisations to find sources of data; and
  • Offering automated electronic licence negotiation so that organisations can easily view and select the terms under which they’re prepared to provide and receive data.

By implementing this framework, organisations can scale their data sharing arrangements easily and with minimum additional cost. This means that farm data can be transferred more often and farmers are not re-entering data for multiple systems. Services and industry bodies have better data sets to work with and can deliver improved value and insights for farmers.

Can Organisations share Data without Data Linker?

Organisations can and do share data directly, without using Data Linker. Each of those transfers require one to one licence negotiation, data mapping and technical implementation, none of which can be applied easily to other organisations.