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Seed certification: England and Wales

Seed Certification is a quality assurance process which ensures that seeds are sufficiently pure, healthy, viable and correctly labelled. Seeds marketing is regulated and, for most agricultural and vegetable species, only seeds which have been certified may be sold.

Introduction

European Commission Directives - require that seed of the main agricultural, horticultural and vegetable species must be officially certified before marketing. The directives define specific standards under which seed must be marketed. Seed may not be marketed unless it is a species / variety on a National List or the EC Common Catalogue.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - operates schemes for the varietal certification of seed to encourage the use of seed of consistently high quality in participating countries. The Schemes are open to all Members of the Organisation, as well as to other States being members of the United Nations Organisation or its Specialised Agencies.

International Seed Testing Association - is responsible for the development of standard procedures for sampling and testing seeds and to promote uniform application of these procedures for evaluation of seeds moving in international trade. The secondary purpose of the Association is to actively promote research in all areas of seed science and technology.

UK certifying authorities: