International scientific and practical conference

"Scientific Aspects of Organic Farming"

March 21-22, 2002

Jelgava -Latvia






Author (s) : Anders Borgen


Key words (5) : Seed, certification, derogation, accession,


Summary of your paper (200 words) :


Organic farmers must use organic seed material if such seed are available. If not available, conventional seeds can be used. This request exists in all accredited standards for organic farming. In the EU-regulation on organic production methods, the derogation from the use of organic seed material will only exist until the end of 2003. After this date only organic seed material may be used according to the present formulation.

Only a few countries in the EU have an organic seed production able to supply the market for organic seed material. It takes many years to develop a well functioning market for organic seeds. It is therefore unlikely that the derogation for the use of organic seed material will not be extended, since a majority of countries in the EU will still have a need for conventional propagated seeds. However, it will be needed to have standards and control procedures ensuring that organic seeds will be used if available. This includes definitions of “availability”. There is a need in both EU and in accession countries to develop criteria for seeds health in organic seeds and other seeds not treated with fungicides, and to implement inspection procedures to control that conventional seeds are only used when organic seeds are not available.