Seed Marketing and Certification for Agricultural Species

For most agricultural species, seed and propagating material must be certified before marketing in the European Union.

Seed marketing and certification

For most agricultural species, seed and propagating material must be certified before it is marketed in the European Union. The purpose of seed certification is to ensure that seed meets the following quality standards:

  • Varietal identity (corresponding to the variety description established when the variety was registered in the Catalogue)
  • Analytical purity and germinative capacity: these criteria are checked by carrying out analyses according to international rules (see ISTA’s International Rules for Seed Testing).
  • Seed health, ensuring the absence or lowest possible level of harmful organisms. This is checked through crop inspections and laboratory analysis.

In France, the Ministry of Agriculture delegates seed certification to the SOC, the Official Service for the Control and Certification of Seed and Propagating Material (Service officiel de contrôle et de certification des semences et plants).

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