The official list of vegetable varieties for amateur gardeners

The official list of vegetable varieties for amateur gardeners

The official list of vegetable varieties for amateur gardeners

With some 300 varieties registered since 2012, list d in the official French catalogue for amateur gardeners has been a success in parallel with the enthusiasm for vegetable gardens. This autumn 2018, control tests will be held at the GEVES station in Brion on several of these varieties of this list d. On this occasion, different seed companies and institutional stakeholders are invited to exchange and review the regulatory procedures of this list d created in 2012.

However, the registration of varieties intended for amateurs in the French Catalogue does not only date from 2012. Old varieties very appreciated by amateur gardeners are registered on the lists a and b of the French official Catalogue since its opening in 1952. These 260 old varieties include “Crapaudine” beetroot, “Coco dwarf early white bean”, “De Vaugirard” onion, “Téléphone à rames” pea, “Doux d’Espagne” pepper and “Saint Pierre” tomato, registered in 1965. These varieties still appear in the Official Catalogue thanks to the work carried out by the seed companies that produce seeds and thanks to the controls on these seeds that GEVES regularly carries out in its fields and greenhouses.

However, if these varieties were also distributed to professional market gardeners, other varieties that had not yet been registered were proposed to amateurs in the 90s, without any official control offering a minimum of guarantee, in particular for variety identification. In order to protect the amateur gardeners, at the end of the 90s the “French register annex of the old varieties intended for the amateurs” was created with 260 old varieties in addition to the 260 varieties already included in lists a or b.

As France is a member of the EU, amateur gardeners from other European Union countries have been able to benefit from this French register since 2012. Indeed, on the basis of this French experience, European Regulation 2009/145 was adopted in 2009, which notably created a European list (list d) of varieties intended mainly for amateurs (old or contemporary varieties). Implemented in 2012 in France, this Regulation has resulted in the transfer of 260 varieties from the French register onto this list. German or Italian gardeners could benefit from varieties from the former French register.

Since 2012, in France, the registration of nearly 80 new varieties has been validated and deletions from this list have also been recorded either at the request of the applicant or following negative GEVES field trials. This management of list d is based on technical work in the GEVES stations validating the identity and a minimum of variety purity for registration but also on financial support from the GNIS interprofessional group, which fully supports, with the agreement of the applicant, the costs incurred by GEVES for carrying out this technical work. To date, there are no costs for seed companies to register and maintain varieties on the list d.

Today, after 6 years of experience with list d and dozens of varieties studied, France contributes to more than half of the list d of the whole European Union in number of varieties registered. However, it will be necessary to conduct a review with the 20 seed companies participating in the list d and with the institutional operators (Ministry of Agriculture, GNIS, UFS, …). After a meeting organised on 20/06 by GNIS with only the professional actors of the list d, in Autumn 2018 GEVES will organise an assessment of the work carried out to discuss the possible evolutions for the regulatory methods for registration on list d. With visits of the control tests of these varieties, the participants of these exchanges will aim to distribute a wide diversity of varieties intended for amateur gardeners with a minimum guarantee through GEVES’s activities.

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