Title of statistical activity: Livestock farming and meat production

Code of statistical activity: 21203

  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 and reliability
  14. Timeliness and punctuality
  15. Coherence and comparability
  16. Cost and burden
  17. Data revision
  18. Statistical processing

1. Contact Individual or organisational contact points for the data or metadata, including information on how to reach the contact points.

1.1. Contact organisation The name of the organisation of the contact points for the data or metadata.

Statistics Estonia

1.2. Contact organisation unit An addressable subdivision of an organisation.

Enterprise and Agricultural Statistics Department

1.3. Contact name The name of the contact points for the data or metadata.

Anton Kardakov

1.4. Contact person function The area of technical responsibility of the contact, such as "methodology", "database management" or "dissemination".


1.5. Contact mail address The postal address of the contact points for the data or metadata.

51 Tatari Str, 10134 Tallinn, Estonia

1.6. Contact email address E-mail address of the contact points for the data or metadata.


1.7. Contact phone number The telephone number of the contact points for the data or metadata.

+372 625 8479

2. Metadata update The date on which the metadata element was inserted or modified in the database.

2.1. Metadata last certified Date of the latest certification provided by the domain manager to confirm that the metadata posted are still up-to-date, even if the content has not been amended.


2.2. Metadata last update Date of last update of the content of the metadata.


3. Statistical presentation

3.1. Data description Main characteristics of the data set described in an easily understandable manner, referring to the data and indicators disseminated.

Yearly data: livestock production (meat, milk, eggs, wool and honey and beeswax) in the reference year, change in the number of livestock (cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, poultry) in the reference year, fur farming (number, sold furs and their price); number of organic livestock and poultry, organic livestock production.

Quarterly data: number of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and poultry as at the last day of the quarter; production of meat, milk and eggs.

Monthly data: number of purchased animals, weight and value of meat and offals received from purchased animals; number of slaughtered animals and meat received from them in approved meat establishments.

3.2. Classification system Arrangement or division of objects into groups based on characteristics which the objects have in common.

Estonian Classification of Economic Activities (EMTAK 2008) based on NACE Rev. 2

Classification of Estonian administrative units and settlements (EHAK)

Combined Nomenclature (CN)

3.3. Sector coverage Main economic or other sectors covered by the statistics.

Agricultural holdings, agricultural small units

Keepers of fur animals

Organic farmers

Meat processing establishments approved by the Veterinary and Food Board

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions Statistical characteristics of statistical observations.

Agricultural holding – until 2019, agricultural holding was a single unit both technically and economically, which had single management and which produced agricultural products or maintained its land in good agricultural and environmental condition and where:

- there was at least one hectare of utilised agricultural land or;

- there was less than one hectare of utilised agricultural land and agricultural products are produced mainly for sale.

From 2020, agricultural holding is a single unit both technically and economically, where there is at least:

- 5 hectares of utilized agricultural area or;

- 2 hectares of arable land or;

- 0.5 hectares of potatoes or;

- 0.5 hectares of vegetables and strawberries or;

- 0.2 hectares of aromatic and medicinal plants and herbs, flowers, seeds, nurseries or;

- 0.3 hectares of fruit and berry plantations, other permanent crops (except nurseries) or;

- 100 m2 of greenhouses or;

- 1.7 livestock units.

Agricultural small unit – unit which is smaller than agricultural holding and where there are at least:

a) 50 square metres of kitchen garden or three fruit trees or six berry bushes or; b) 10 rabbits, 10 poultry heads or other agricultural animals or; c) three colonies of bees.

Agricultural producer – a legal or natural person, or a group of legal or natural persons, whose holding is situated in Estonia and who engages in agricultural activity.

Approved meat establishments – according to the Food Act, approving of the companies is performed by the Veterinary and Food Board. Approving is a procedure, in the course of which the food-processing companies or their parts are checked with regard to their correspondence to the Food Act, European Parliament and Council Regulations No 852/2004 and 853/2004 and to all other appropriate acts of food processing.

Average number of dairy cows – quotient of number of dairy cows feeding days and number of calendar days of the reference quarter (year).

Average number of laying hens – quotient of number of laying hens feeding days and number of calendar days of the reference quarter (year).

Average yield per cow – average quantity of milk obtained in a quarter (year) per dairy cow.

Average yield per hen – average quantity of eggs obtained in a quarter (year) per laying hen.

Bovine meat – the weight of a slaughtered bovine animal’s cold body after having been skinned, bled and eviscerated, and after removal of the genital organs with the attached muscles and the udder and the mammary fat, after the feet have been severed at the carpametacarpal or tarsometatarsal joints and the removal of the head.

Bulls – non-castrated male bovine animals not included under calves and young cattle.

Bullocks – castrated male bovine animals not included under calves and young cattle.

Certified organic products – agricultural products received from a fully converted organic agricultural area or certified organic livestock and that can be labelled as fully organic.

Conversion period – transition from non-organic to organic farming, within a given time period, during which the provisions concerning organic production are applied. During that period, the production cannot be labelled as organic yet.

Cows – female bovine animals who have calved at least once.

Dairy cows – cows held for producing milk.

Enterprise – an enterprise consists of one or more companies (public limited company, private limited company, limited partnership, general partnership, commercial association) or branches of foreign companies or sole proprietors.

Fattening pig – fattening pig with live weight of 50 kg or more, including cull boars and cull sows.

Fully converted – agricultural area and/or livestock which has passed the fixed conversion period from non-organic to organic farming during which the provisions concerning organic production were applied, and will continue to be applied. After the conversion period, the production can be labelled as organic.

Heifers – female bovine animals who have not yet calved and who are not included under calves and young cattle.

Meat production – meat of animals sold to meat production and processing enterprises (slaughterhouses) or to buyers for slaughter, incl. for export (from Estonia to third countries as well as to other European Union countries), and meat of animals slaughtered in slaughterhouses belonging to holdings or slaughtered elsewhere as a service.

Mutton and goats meat – the weight of a slaughtered sheep or goat’s cooled body after having been skinned, bled and eviscerated (except the kidneys, kidney fats), and after removal of the head (separated at the atloido-occipital joint), of the feet (severed at the carpo-metacarpal or tarsometatarsal joints), of the tail (severed between the sixth and seventh caudal vertebrae) and of the genital organs (including udder).

Offal – heart, pulmones, liver and tongue (excl. tongue of sheep and goat).

Organic farming – sustainable production of agricultural produce, which maintains basic equilibrium and which is carried out in compliance with the Organic Farming Act and with other relevant legislation. Holdings with organic production have the approval of the Estonian Agricultural Board (either fully compliant with the principles of organic production or still in a conversion period).

Other cows – cattle for fattening, suckler cow, cow of a beef breed.

Pig-meat – the weight of a slaughtered pig’s cooled body after having been bled and eviscerated and after removal of kidneys and flare fat, the bristles, the genital organs, the tongue, the diaphragm and the hooves.

Poultry – domestic birds of any species.

Purchase – animals and poultry purchased from Estonian agricultural producers.

Value – purchase price, excluding the value added tax.

3.5. Statistical unit Entity for which information is sought and for which statistics are ultimately compiled.

Agricultural holding


3.6. Statistical population The total membership or population or "universe" of a defined class of people, objects or events.

Agricultural holdings with farm animals

Keepers of fur animals

Meat processing establishments approved by the Veterinary and Food Board


List of agricultural holdings with farm animals. The list is generated from the statistical register of agricultural holdings.

List of units with fur animals generated from the statistical register of agricultural holdings

List of approved meat processing establishments compiled by the Veterinary and Food Board

3.7. Reference area The country or geographic area to which the measured statistical phenomenon relates.

Estonia as a whole

Counties – only data on agricultural holdings

3.8. Time coverage The length of time for which data are available.

Yearly data about livestock and poultry 1980–…

Quarterly data about livestock and poultry and monthly data about purchase of livestock and poultry 2004–…

Data about livestock and poultry slaughtered in approved meat processing establishments 2008–…

Organic livestock farming 2013–…

3.9. Base period The period of time used as the base of an index number, or to which a constant series refers.

Not applicable

4. Unit of measure The unit in which the data values are measured.

Number of animals, poultry and colonies of bees

Production of meat, milk, wool and honey; meat and offals received from slaughtered (incl. purchased) animals – tonne

Production of eggs – thousand pieces

Organic milk – thousand litres

Value of purchased animals – euro

5. Reference period The period of time or point in time to which the measured observation is intended to refer.




6. Institutional mandate

6.1. Legal acts and other agreements Legal acts or other formal or informal agreements that assign responsibility as well as the authority to an agency for the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistics.


Regulation (EC) No 138/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 December 2003 on the economic accounts for agriculture in the Community

Commission Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 of 5 September 2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products with regard to organic production, labelling and control

Commission Regulation (EC) No 617/2008 of 27 June 2008 laying down detailed rules for implementing Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 as regards marketing standards for eggs for hatching and farmyard poultry chicks

Regulation (EC) No 1165/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 concerning livestock and meat statistics and repealing Council Directives 93/23/EEC, 93/24/EEC and 93/25/EEC

Council Directive 96/16/EC of 19 March 1996 on statistical surveys of milk and milk products


97/80/EC: Commission Decision of 18 December 1996 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Directive 96/16/EC on statistical surveys of milk and milk products

Directive 2003/107/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 December 2003 amending Council Directive 96/16/EC on statistical surveys of milk and milk products

2005/288/EC: Commission Decision of 18 March 2005 amending Decision 97/80/EC on provisions for the implementation of Council Directive 96/16/EC on statistical surveys of milk and milk products


Not available

7. Confidentiality A property of data indicating the extent to which their unauthorised disclosure could be prejudicial or harmful to the interest of the source or other relevant parties.

7.1. Confidentiality - policy Legislative measures or other formal procedures which prevent unauthorised disclosure of data that identify a person or economic entity either directly or indirectly.

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 32, § 34, § 35, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment Rules applied for treating the data set to ensure statistical confidentiality and prevent unauthorised disclosure.

The treatment of confidential data is regulated by the Procedure for Protection of Data Collected and Processed by Statistics Estonia: https://www.stat.ee/66485.

8. Release policy Rules for disseminating statistical data to interested parties.

8.1. Release calendar The schedule of statistical release dates.

Notifications about the dissemination of statistics are published in the release calendar, which is available on the website. Every year on 1 October, the release times of the statistical database, news releases, main indicators by IMF SDDS and publications for the following year are announced in the release calendar (in the case of publications – the release month).

8.2. Release calendar access Access to the release calendar information.


8.3. User access The policy for release of the data to users, the scope of dissemination (e.g. to the public, to selected users), how users are informed that the data are being released, and whether the policy determines the dissemination of statistical data to all users.

All users have been granted equal access to official statistics: dissemination dates of official statistics are announced in advance and no user category (incl. Eurostat, state authorities and mass media) is provided access to official statistics before other users. Official statistics are first published in the statistical database. If there is also a news release, it is published simultaneously with data in the statistical database. Official statistics are available on the website at 8:00 a.m. on the date announced in the release calendar.

9. Frequency of dissemination The time interval at which the statistics are disseminated over a given time period.




10. Accessibility and clarity

10.1. News release Regular or ad-hoc press releases linked to the data.

The news release “Livestock farming” once a year. The news release can be viewed on the website at https://www.stat.ee/news-releases.

10.2. Publications Regular or ad-hoc publications in which the data are made available to the public.

Not published

10.3. Online database Information about on-line databases in which the disseminated data can be accessed.

Data are published in the statistical database at http://andmebaas.stat.ee under the subject area “Economy / Agriculture / Agricultural production / Livestock production” in the following tables:

AG09: Livestock and poultry by county (quarters)

AG10: Livestock production by county (quarters)

AG12: Livestock and poultry productivity by county (quarters)

AG161: Livestock production per inhabitant

AG190: Slaughtered animals in approved meat establishments and meat received (months)

AG192: Purchase of cattle, pigs, sheep and goats (months)

AG197: Certified organic livestock and production thereof

10.4. Microdata access Information on whether micro-data are also disseminated.

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 33, § 34, § 35, § 36, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act. Access to microdata and anonymisation of microdata are regulated by Statistics Estonia’s procedure for dissemination of confidential data for scientific purposes: https://www.stat.ee/dokumendid/51669.

10.5. Other References to the most important other data dissemination done.

Data serve as input for statistical activities 21206 “Purchase and use of milk”, 21207 “Economic accounts for agriculture”, 21209 “Statistical register of agricultural holdings” and 21213 “Supply balance sheets of agricultural products”.

10.6. Documentation on methodology Descriptive text and references to methodological documents available.

Regulation (EC) No 1165/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 concerning livestock and meat statistics and repealing Council Directives 93/23/EEC, 93/24/EEC and 93/25/EEC


Commission Regulation (EC) No 617/2008 of 27 June 2008 laying down detailed rules for implementing Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 as regards marketing standards for eggs for hatching and farmyard poultry chicks


Data collection on organic farming statistics. Guidelines. Methodological notes

10.7. Quality documentation Documentation on procedures applied for quality management and quality assessment.

Pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1165/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council, a report is compiled every three years describing the methodology applied and level of quality achieved.

11. Quality management Systems and frameworks in place within an organisation to manage the quality of statistical products and processes.

11.1. Quality assurance All systematic activities implemented that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that the processes will fulfil the requirements for the statistical output.

To assure the quality of processes and products, Statistics Estonia applies the EFQM Excellence Model, the European Statistics Code of Practice and the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (ESS QAF). Statistics Estonia is also guided by the requirements in § 7. “Principles and quality criteria of producing official statistics” of the Official Statistics Act.

11.2. Quality assessment Overall assessment of data quality, based on standard quality criteria.

Statistics Estonia performs all statistical activities according to an international model (Generic Statistical Business Process Model – GSBPM). According to the GSBPM, the final phase of statistical activities is overall evaluation using information gathered in each phase or sub-process; this information can take many forms, including feedback from users, process metadata, system metrics and suggestions from employees. This information is used to prepare the evaluation report which outlines all the quality problems related to the specific statistical activity and serves as input for improvement actions.

12. Relevance The degree to which statistical information meet current and potential needs of the users.

12.1. User needs Description of users and their respective needs with respect to the statistical data.

Ministry of Rural Affairs

Users’ suggestions and information about taking these into account are available on the website of Statistics Estonia at https://www.stat.ee/statistikatood.

12.2. User satisfaction Measures to determine user satisfaction.

Since 1996, Statistics Estonia has conducted reputation and user satisfaction surveys.

All results are available on the website at https://www.stat.ee/user-surveys.

12.3. Completeness The extent to which all statistics that are needed are available.

Methodology and organisation are in compliance with the requirements of EU regulations.

13. Accuracy and reliability Accuracy: closeness of computations or estimates to the exact or true values that the statistics were intended to measure.
Reliability: closeness of the initial estimated value to the subsequent estimated value.

13.1. Overall accuracy Assessment of accuracy, linked to a certain data set or domain, which is summarising the various components.

The type of survey and the data collection methods ensure sufficient coverage and timeliness.

13.2. Sampling error That part of the difference between a population value and an estimate thereof, derived from a random sample, which is due to the fact that only a subset of the population is enumerated.

The error due to probability sampling is estimated for all more important published indicators. Sampling errors are in accordance with the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 1165/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

13.3. Non-sampling error Error in survey estimates which cannot be attributed to sampling fluctuations.

An effort is made to reduce non-sampling errors through continous methodological improvements and survey process improvements, incl. through minimizing under- and overcoverage of the frame.

14. Timeliness and punctuality

14.1. Punctuality Time lag between the actual delivery of the data and the target date when it should have been delivered.

The data have been published at the time announced in the release calendar.

15. Coherence and comparability

15.1. Comparability - geographical The extent to which statistics are comparable between geographical areas.

The data of the number of livestock, animals slaughtered and their meat from approved meat processing establishments and certified organic livestock production are comparable with the data of other European Union countries, as common methodology is used. The number of animals received from the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB) also includes animals of agricultural small units. At the level of Estonia, the data are comparable for counties.

15.2. Comparability - over time The extent to which statistics are comparable or reconcilable over time.

The data are comparable over time.

As of 2018, “meat in live weight” includes calculated “other meat in live weight”.

Up to 2017, the data on the productivity of animals and poultry cover only agricultural holdings.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain The extent to which statistics are reconcilable with those obtained through other data sources or statistical domains.

The data are closely related to other agricultural statistics. Cross-domain coherence is ensured by using the same indicators from different sources. The data on livestock production and buying-in prices serve as input for economic accounts for agriculture and the data on livestock production for supply balance sheets of agricultural products. Input data are received from the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB), the Veterinary and Food Board, the Agricultural Board and foreign trade statistics.

15.4. Coherence - internal The extent to which statistics are consistent within a given data set.

Internal coherence of data is ensured by using common methodology in data collection as well as data aggregation. Higher-level aggregate data are calculated based on detailed data according to pre-defined procedures. Meat production data are calculated.

16. Cost and burden Cost associated with the collection and production of a statistical product and burden on respondents.

Cost of statistical activity 37.7 thousand euros (data for 2018)

Total time of filling in reports of the statistical activity, working days: 340.5

Average time of filling in the reports, hours per report:

Loomakasvatus. Karusloomad 1.9

Loomakasvatus. Lambad ja kitsed 1.0

Loomakasvatus. Linnud 1.1

Loomakasvatus. Mesindus 1.1

Loomakasvatus. Sead 1.4

Loomakasvatus. Veised 1.0

Loomakasvatus. Linnud. Kvartal 0.8

Loomakasvatus. Sead. Kvartal 0.4

Loomade ja lindude tapmine ning kokkuost 1.8

Loomakasvatus. Haudurite kasutamine 0.6

(data for 2016)

17. Data revision Any change in a value of a statistic released to the public.

17.1. Data revision - policy Policy aimed at ensuring the transparency of disseminated data, whereby preliminary data are compiled that are later revised.

The data revision policy and notification of corrections are described in the dissemination policy of Statistics Estonia at https://www.stat.ee/dissemination-policy.

17.2. Data revision - practice Information on the data revision practice.

The published data may be revised if the methodology is modified, errors are discovered, new or better data become available.

18. Statistical processing

18.1. Source data Characteristics and components of the raw statistical data used for compiling statistical aggregates.


For annual livestock and meat statistics, the populations and samples are compiled separately for each animal species. The questionnaires collect data annually from holdings with dairy cows and goats that are approved by the Veterinary and Food Board for the production of dairy products. Annual data about fur animals are collected from all units keeping fur animals. Data from the largest holdings with poultry (at least 500 poultry) are collected quarterly. Data about livestock purchases are collected from all meat processing establishments where slaughtering of animals is approved by the Veterinary and Food Board and which purchase animals. Data about hatcheries are collected monthly from all enterprises with hatcheries.


Aggregate data for sheep wool and milk are obtained from the Agricultural Research Centre.

Data about milk production per dairy cow are received from website of the Estonian Livestock Performance Recording Ltd.

Data about organic livestock and their production are received from the organic farming register of the Agricultural Board.

Data about slaughtering’s and production of honey are received from Veterinary and Food Board.

The data about the number of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses and colonies of bees are received from the register of agricultural animals of the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board; in the case of animals also the changes by types.


Data from statistical activities 21216 “Survey of agricultural small units” and 22303 “Foreign trade” (imports and exports of live animals) are used.

18.2. Frequency of data collection Frequency with which the source data are collected.




18.3. Data collection Systematic process of gathering data for official statistics.

Data are collected and the submission of questionnaires is monitored through eSTAT (the web channel for electronic data submission). The questionnaires have been designed for independent completion in eSTAT and include instructions and controls. The questionnaires and information about data submission are available on Statistics Estonia’s website at https://www.stat.ee/andmete-esitamine (in Estonian).

Data are collected with several annual, quarterly and monthly statistical questionnaires.

18.4. Data validation Process of monitoring the results of data compilation and ensuring the quality of statistical results.

Arithmetic and qualitative controls are used in the validation process, including comparison with the data of previous periods or other surveys and with administrative data sources.

18.5. Data compilation Operations performed on data to derive new information according to a given set of rules.

For producing statistics of livestock farming, the administrative data and, in the absence thereof, survey based raw data are used. In addition, foreign trade data and, where necessary, model-based calculations are used.

Data of agricultural holdings which have not submitted the report will be replaced by data of the previous period or mean data.

Data on small units are estimated and updated every ten years on the basis of social survey data. Aggregate country data are obtained by aggregating data on holdings and small units. Variables which were not collected directly but which are necessary for producing the output are calculated. New variables are calculated by applying arithmetic conversion to already existing variables. This may be done repeatedly, the derived variable may, in turn, be based on previously derived new variables. Microdata are aggregated to the level necessary for analysis. This includes summation of data according to the classification and calculating various statistical measures, e.g. mean. The collected data are converted into statistical output. This includes calculating additional variables.

18.6. Adjustment The set of procedures employed to modify statistical data to enable it to conform to national or international standards or to address data quality differences when compiling specific data sets.

Not applied

19. Comments Supplementary descriptive text which can be attached to data or metadata.

Not available