The European Commission (EC) has submitted a proposal to the European Parliament for the development of a new European law on seeds, which includes the production and marketing of plant reproductive material. The new seed law is based on fifty years of legislation on the marketing of seeds in the European Union (EU) and sets the general framework of the key principles that operators who produce and market the seeds in EU must meet.
It recasts twelve crop directives in a single regulation, in order to simplify and harmonize the legal framework for operators and public authorities.
Copa-Cogeca's General Secretary, Pekka Pesonen said, "Vegetable seed varieties that are constantly improved are of vital importance for farmers so that they may remain competitive and are able to cope with the 70% expected growth in demand from here to 2050. We welcome this legislative framework published by the Commission, it will reduce the bureaucracy for farmers and cooperatives, bringing together all the legislation in this regard in a single regulation."
Garlich von Essen, from the European Seed Association (ESA), added, "Regarding seeds, it's essential, for both breeders and farmers alike, to have a legislative framework that supports identity, performance, quality and health. "
Pesonen stressed, "We are very concerned with some elements of the proposal. In particular, Copa- Cogeca is against the weakening of the current provisions on mandatory certification of some listed species. We are in favour of maintaining a positive list of the different species in the new regulation. We also want to be taken into account in the preparation of all delegated acts. Moreover, we want to exclude the forage (grass and clover) of the heterogeneous material provisions contained in the proposal, as it would otherwise jeopardize the procurement activity carried out for more than one hundred years, destroying export opportunities to third countries".
"Finally, the existing policy recognizes the complicated features specific to the ornamental plant sector and as such allows the marketing of plant varieties if they are commonly known or are part of a provider's own catalogue. Copa-Cogeca wants this approach to remain flexible, simple and proportionate, rather than imposing an official description that will cost a lot of money to develop, maintain and test. "
Pesonen has insisted that "Seeds are one of the main agricultural inputs that contribute to the sustainability and competitiveness of the agricultural sector. I urge MEPs, the European Commission and the ministers to consider our demands and to review the proposals in this regard, so that the new European legislation on seeds continue to support these goals. "