GEVES designated National Reference Laboratory for certification of seeds and propagating material

11 Apr 17 Image

GEVES designated National Reference Laboratory for certification of seeds and propagating material

Arnaud Deltour, CEO of GEVES, Joël Léchappé, Director of the National Seed Testing Station (SNES), Thibaut Decourcelle, Head of Development of NRL Activities, and all the staff at GEVES are pleased to announce that the GEVES National Seed Testing Station has been officially designated as the National Reference Laboratory in France for the certification of seeds and propagating material.

The designation order was published in the Official Journal of the French Republic on 24 March 2017. In accordance with the respective EU directives, it defines the following areas of competence: fodder plant seed, cereal seed, beetroot seed, vegetable seed, and oil and fibre plant seed. This designation order strengthens the regulatory regime for seed quality testing, and promotes GEVES’s position and role with regards to these regulations.

The relative missions are set out in Decree no. 2016-1496 of 4 November 2016 relating to seed testing laboratories. The National Seed Testing Station has already been carrying out these missions for many years, in support of both the private sector and public policies. As a National Reference Laboratory (NRL), it will continue and enhance these activities with a view to developing the French seed sector and promoting its leading position on the global market. France is currently the largest seed producer in Europe and the world’s leading seed exporter.

In its capacity as NRL for seed certification, GEVES is the technical reference for seed quality testing and researching new innovative methods. It also plays an important role in coordinating, monitoring, and assisting other accredited and approved laboratories that carry out seed quality testing (purity, germination, and sanitary tests). In addition to carrying out official testing, this involves:

  • Assuring the surveillance of scientific and technical developments in order to optimise and improve methods for seed quality analysis, and helping to standardise these techniques on a national and international level.
  • Proposing protocols for seed sampling, an essential step which ensures full traceability of its operations for seed certification.
  • Supervising the technical activities of accredited and approved laboratories through audits, consulting, training and qualifications, inter-laboratory testing, documents, reference materials and technical aids, organising technical workshops, etc.
  • Proposing prospects for development towards new tools and services.


A few figures: In 2016, GEVES NRL carried out over 40,000 official tests, 15 laboratory audits, 20 inter-laboratory tests with 323 participants, 30 training courses for 187 trainees, and 2 technical workshops with 100 participants. It also established new and improved methods which are now internationally recognised (ISTA), produced over a hundred technical documents for public use, and implemented an online tool for seed identification (I.D.SEED®).

GEVES at a glance: GEVES NRL provides independent expertise and outstanding performance for the French seed certification regime. A major player in support of the private sector, it works in collaboration with the Official Service for Seed Control and Certification (SOC) and alongside recognised laboratories to guarantee seed and crop quality for farmers, users, and consumers.

GEVES’s NRL team remains available for any questions you may have:


For press queries                                                                                             

Nathalie Augé                                                                                                      

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For technical queries 

Thibaut Decourcelle

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