In accordance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) this notice sets out what the Welsh Government does with information that farmers provide for the purposes of conducting this survey.

The information in this notice will be kept under review to incorporate any further changes communicated by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Background

As the data controller, the Welsh Government holds and collects information under the powers governed by the Agricultural Statistics Act 1979.

The June Survey of Agriculture and Horticulture is carried out annually by the Welsh Government. Each year a sample of farms is selected to take part in the survey and all selected farms are required to complete and return a form to the Welsh Government. In order to conduct the survey it is necessary to maintain a statistical register of all premises where agriculture and horticulture activity might take place. For the purposes of this document, the term “farm” is used to describe such premises although it is acknowledged that this will not be an appropriate description in all cases. This register is also used as a basis for other research in the public interest.

The register contains information relating to:

  • contact details (name, address, telephone number and e-mail address) for the person responsible for looking after the farm
  • details about the location of the farm (if different from above) and the area of land on the farm.

The survey forms collect:

  • information about how land is used, the numbers of livestock kept and the number of people working on the farm;
  • periodically, additional information required as part of the Farm Structure Survey. This seeks further information about the farmers’ ages and further information about the working patterns of people working on the farm. It also requires information on farming practices.

The information contained on the statistical register and collected on the survey forms is used in the performance of the Welsh Government’s public task of monitoring and developing policies relating to agriculture:

  • for publication purposes including a range of statistical outputs on the Welsh Government website using aggregated data that will not identify individual farms.
  • to provide statistical analyses to enable the Welsh Government to evaluate and plan agriculture policy, again without identifying individual farms;
  • to assist in conducting research in the public interest eg assessing the environmental impacts of farming. This research may be carried out by, or on behalf of, the Welsh Government or the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Further detail on this is provided in ‘Your rights under the GDPR’.

Who does Welsh Government share your information with?

Under the conditions stipulated in Section 3(1) of the Agricultural Statistics Act 1979, information held by the Welsh Government about individual farms cannot be “published or otherwise disclosed without the previous consent in writing of the person by whom the information was furnished”.

However there is provision under Section 3(2)(a) and (c) of the Act for information to be shared with other government departments or external organisations or for Ministerial approval to be given to release certain aspects of the information if it is deemed to be in the public interest.

When necessary, the Welsh Government shares data securely from the statistical register of premises or the survey of agriculture and horticulture with other organisations in order to undertake research. This is carried out by, or on behalf of, Welsh Government or by, or on behalf of, DEFRA at a Great Britain or UK level. The Welsh Government also shares your information with other government bodies eg Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE), or with other approved researchers who are undertaking research in the public interest.

When this is the case, this is undertaken under strictly controlled conditions. Welsh Government will only provide data for a specific purpose and for a limited time period, after which the organisation must confirm that it has been destroyed. Any analysis produced must follow Welsh Government statistical confidentiality rules to ensure that individual farms cannot be identified. In every case such disclosures will be scrutinised by the Welsh Government’s Chief Statistician and, if approved, controlled by an appropriate Welsh Government data access agreement which will:

  • ensure secure transfer, storage and eventual destruction of the data
  • only include personal information if there is a clear requirement
  • limit the use to the specific requirement identified, ensuring that no individual can be identified in any published reports
  • only allow the data to be stored for the duration of the research project, requiring the data to be destroyed after that period.

We would not share identifiable data from the statistical register for any other purposes without the written consent of all relevant parties.

How long will we keep this data?

The register of farms is continuously maintained and thus is always live. When notified that farms no longer carry out any agricultural activity, such farms’ records are archived on our register. Their details are retained as they can be used as a reference to resolve issues with active farms. Otherwise they are not used or shared for any purpose.

Survey forms returned to the Welsh Government are retained for two years and are then securely destroyed. This is subject to the processes outlined above.

Data relating to activity on the farm (ie land use, livestock numbers and numbers of people working on the farm) are maintained electronically in order for the Welsh Government to carry out historical analyses as listed in the ‘Background’. Any analysis will only be published at an aggregate level and will not identify information relating to individual farms.

Your rights under the GDPR

You have the right:

  • to be informed what the Welsh Government will do with your personal data (this notice)
  • to have access to the personal data that Welsh Government are processing about you
  • to require Welsh Government to rectify inaccuracies in that data
  • to (in certain circumstances) object to or restrict use of your personal data
  • for (in certain circumstances) your data to be ‘erased’.

Contact points for information and complaints

Questions about either this notice or individuals’ rights should be directed to WG in writing to the address below. Complaints should also be directed to this address in the first instance, although you can also complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Agricultural Statistics
Knowledge and Analytical Services
Welsh Government
Floor 4 South
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ
Email: stats.agric@gov.wales

Information Commissioner’s Office (Wales)
Churchill House
17 Churchill Way
Cardiff
CF10 2HH
Telephone: 029 2067 8400 or 0303 123 1113
Email: casework@ico.org.uk
Website: Information Commissioner’s Office

The Welsh Government’s Data Protection Officer can be contacted at:
Data Protection Officer
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ
Email: dataprotectionofficer@gov.wales