Orchard (orch)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)
National metadata

National quality report

National metadata produced by countries and released by Eurostat

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Unit E1: Agriculture and fisheries

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 22/05/2019
2.2. Metadata last posted 11/06/2019
2.3. Metadata last update 11/06/2019

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

The Orchard survey domain (orch) contains the results of the surveys of areas under certain species of fruit trees (apples, pears, peaches, apricots, oranges, lemons, small citrus fruits and since 2012 olives and vines intended for the production of table grapes). The statistical surveys on orchards are carried out every five years by the Member States in order to determine the production potential of plantations of certain species of fruit trees. These surveys have been carried out since 1977. More specific methodological information to the different surveys are attached as annexes to the Metadata file.

The results presented in this database provide areas (in hectares) by variety, age and density classes by country and by production region. Data are mainly grouped in tables by fruit tree species. The following species are surveyed:
a) dessert apple trees,
b) dessert pear trees,
c)  apricot trees,
d) dessert peach trees,
e) orange trees,
f)  small-citrus fruit trees,
g) lemon trees and
h) olive trees.
The group small-citrus fruit trees (including tangerines and satsumas; clementines, wilkings and other similar citrus hybrids) is considered as a single species.
Data on plantations producing apples and pears and also peaches from 2012 on for uses other than dessert fruit were sent optionally by some countries since 1987.
From 2012 on some Member States (Spain, France, Italy, Romania) also sent data on vines intended for the productuion of table grapes on optional basis.

The species of fruit and the varieties are listed in Annex III to Commission Decision (EC) No 38/2002 and from 2012 on in Article 1 and Annex I of Regulation (EU) No 1337/2011.

3.2. Classification system

The surveys refer to the following species of fruit trees: apples, pears, peaches, apricots, oranges, lemons, small citrus fruits and from 2012 on olives and table grapes (optinal).

The species of fruit and the varieties were listed in Annex III, the statistical classes on the age of the trees were listed in Annex II and the statistical classes for the net area planted, the number of trees and the density of plantation were listed in Annex IV  to Commission Decision (EC) No 38/2002.
From 2012 on these information are listed in Annex 1 of Regulation (EU) No 1337/2011.

The geographical classification is related to NUTS with some exceptions. Some countries use NUTS units whilst other - division into production areas (fruit-growing regions). The list of production areas was up to 2007 given in Annex I to Commission Decision (EC) No 38/2002. Information on regions used for the 2012 survey is listed in Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 1337/2011 regarding NUTS Regulation (EC) 1059/2003.

3.3. Coverage - sector

Main fruit tree species (see item 3.1 - 'Data description')

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Age of trees is calculated from the time of their planting in the orchard. The planting season, extending from the autumn to the spring, is considered a single period and corresponds to "0" in time. The date of grafting has no influence on the age of the trees.

Net area planted - surface solely occupied by trees, in contrary to 'gross area planted' - the total area of the plot.

For the areas under associated crops, the surface under the fruit trees is calculated on a "pro rata" basis. Isolated trees (or trees in rows) are not covered.

The method of determining plantation density is left up to the Member State, either on the basis of the net area planted and the number of trees or based on tree spacings and the distance between rows.

3.5. Statistical unit

The survey unit is a homogeneous parcel planted with the mentioned fruit tree species.

3.6. Statistical population

All agricultural holdings with an area planted with the following fruit trees (apples, pears, apricots, peaches, oranges, small citrus fruits, lemons, olives and vines intended for the production of table grapes), provided that the fruits produced are entirely or mainly intended for the market as dessert fruits or for industrial processing.

3.7. Reference area

The surveys are carried out in EU Member States.

The 2012 survey covers 28 countries, as Croatia joined the EU in

The 1977 survey covered the EUR 9 countries (DE, FR, IT, NL, BE, LU, UK, IR and DK) ; the 1982 survey covered the EUR 10 (i.e. EUR 9 + EL); the 1987 and 1992 surveys covered the EUR 12 (i.e. EUR 10 + ES and PT); for 1997 and 2002 data is available for EU-15 countries (i.e. EUR 12 + AT, FI and SE), 2007 surveys covered for the first time the EU-27 (i.e. EU-15 + BG, CZ, EE, CY, LV, LT, HU, MT, PL, RO, SI, SK).

As in certain production areas there are homogeneous climatic and agronomic conditions corresponding to fairly considerable uniformity of fruit yields per hectare - regional breakdown into production zones (related to NUTS classification) is applied. In some countries the production zones differ according to the species - (DE, EL, ES, FR, IT, PT). Other countries (AT, BE, DK, FI, IR, LU, NL, SE, UK) are not divided into production zones. The list of production areas is given in Annex I to  Commission Decision (EC) No 38/2002.

3.8. Coverage - Time

Orchard survey data is available for the following years: 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007 (geographical coverage is different from year to year, as only EU Member States conduct the surveys). (see item 3.7 'Reference area')

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.

4. Unit of measure Top

The area is given in hectares.

5. Reference Period Top

The data refers to the moment in time when the surveys are conducted.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Basic rules concerning the statistical survey to be carried out by the Member States in order to determine the production potential of plantations of certain species of fruit trees are set out in the Directive (EC) No 109/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 December 2001 (OJ L13, 16.01.2002).

The survey parameters as well as the standard rules for data transcription are included in the Commission Decision (EC) No 38/2002 of 27 December 2001 (OJ L16, 18.01.2002).

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Not available.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The data are disseminated as soon as available. There is no predefined release calendar.

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Every 5 years.

10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

News releases on-line.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Statistics in Focus and Data in Focus on an ad-hoc basis. There is no regular timetable of publication. Results are also published in Agricultural Statistics pocketbooks, Statistical yearbooks and Agricultural Statistics Quarterly bulletin.

The most recent publications are listed here:

Statistics in Focus 41/2009: Summary results of the EU-27 orchard survey

Statistics in Focus 23/2005: EU-15: 13% decline in area under fruit trees

The European orchard in 1997, Theme 5, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 2000

The European Orchard - 1987 and 1992 basic surveys - Analysis and results, Theme 5 C, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1996 

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Eurostat online database.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable.

10.5. Dissemination format - other


10.6. Documentation on methodology

Methodological reports describing the methodology of the survey are sent by each Member States. These reports are available under request.

A summary of the national methodologies implemented in years 1977-1997, 2002 and 2007 is available in the Annex at the bottom of the page.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Not available.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Member States shall take appropriate measures to limit mistakes of reporting, and, if necessary, to estimate their effect on the whole of the area planted with fruit trees of each species.

Member States should notify the Commission about the sampling errors and any mistakes discovered in reporting.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Quality of the data is good in general. Member States have to conduct their surveys within a fixed time-frame and have to ensure high quality results.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

The Commission, in order to perform the task conferred upon it by the Treaty and by Community provisions governing the common organisation of the market in the fruit and vegetable sector, needs to be kept accurately informed on the production potential of plantations of certain species of fruit trees within the Community.

The main user of Crop Statistics data is DG AGRI.  Other important users are: other units within Eurostat, other Commission services (DG ENV), other European institutions or agencies (EFSA), National administration services, National Statistical Offices, the economic actors as traders and processing industries, producer groups and unions, research institutes, journalists and general public.

The objectives of these clients are various: analysis, dissemination, information for specialist and the general public, financial investors, forecasts, market management, decisions on production, internal and external trade, documentation, methodology, etc.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

No user satisfaction survey exists. However, indirect information is collected through direct contacts, meetings etc

12.3. Completeness

Very good.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

It is not possible to asses quantitatively the overall accuracy. However, Member States respect the sampling error and when there is evidence of accuracy problems Eurostat intervenes in order to obtain correct data.

13.2. Sampling error

In the case of random sampling, the sample shall be representayive of at least 95% of the area planted with fruit trees.

Sampling errors at the 68 % confidence level shall, at the most, be of the order of 3 % for the whole of the national area planted with fruit trees of each species.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not available.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Member states should transmit the results of the surveys before 1 October of the year following the survey year.

14.2. Punctuality


15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Data are comparable, but methodology and thresholds are not fully harmonised.

According to Article 1(3) of Directive 2001/109/EC, "the survey shall apply to all holdings with an area planted with fruit trees, provided that the fruit produced is entirely or mainly intended for the market". In practice, the situation differs from one Member State to another, ranging from no threshold (i.e. all holdings are surveyed) to a threshold established at Member State level (for example 15 are in CZ, 50 in FR and 100 in LV). Furthermore, some Member States have changed their threshold from one survey to another. For more details, please consult the methodologies in the Annex at the bottom of the page.

15.2. Comparability - over time

The survey parameters as e.g. the list of varieties have a certain dynamic and are being revised and updated from one survey to another.

Age and density classes changed in 2002. Some Member States have also changed the thresholds applied in the surveys.

For more details, please consult the methodologies in the Annex at the bottom of the page.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Yearly data on fruits is available in the crop products tables (apro_cp). Cross-domain coherence is good.

15.4. Coherence - internal


16. Cost and Burden Top

Not assessed.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Any mistakes discovered in reporting shall be notified before 1 October of the year following the survey year.

17.2. Data revision - practice

Data is updated whenever mistakes are discovered.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

EU data are compiled on the basis of national figures. All surveys are undertaken by the Member States. Data sources vary according to Member States: survey might be conducted as a complete enumeration, on base of random sampling or area frame sampling.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Every 5 years.

18.3. Data collection

Suvey methods vary: complete ennumeration, random sampling; by telephone, mail or direct interview, etc. For a detailed explanation, see the nmethodologies in the Annex at the bottom of the page.

18.4. Data validation

Data check involves a series of intra-tabular checks (the data for each species corresponding to one table) before the data transmitted to Eurostat can be finally accepted.

18.5. Data compilation

Eurostat receives the data from the Member states and performs aggregations to obtain EU-level data.

18.6. Adjustment

Appropriate actions (e.g. estimation of the areas not covered by sampling) are being undertaken by the Member States if necessary. No adjustment of the data is carried out by Eurostat.

19. Comment Top

not applicable

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top
Methodology 1977-1997
Methodology 2002
Methodology 2007
Orchards survey handbook 2012