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AIC welcomes review of seed regulations, but fights to retain UK needs

The Agricultural Industries Confederation has welcomed the first review of seed regulations to be undertaken for some 60 years, but is fighting to ensure that the revisions do not exclude essential practice on autumn seed deliveries.

Speaking at the AIC Annual Seed Trade Dinner, Paul Taylor who chairs the Seed Sector said a full review was long overdue and the Confederation had collaborated willingly in the EU Better Regulation consultation for seeds.

The UK input reflected a strong consensus between the commercial seed industry and plant breeders, and farming unions, as well as Defra officials and MEPs.

“However, we do have an issue on the Commission’s proposals regarding ‘early movement’ of seed, which is vital to accommodate the very short turn round period from harvest to the supply of seed for autumn sowing,” said Mr Taylor. “In the past, seed merchants have been able to move seed, under a ‘provisional germination’ result onto farm while official testing was completed. However, under the new regulations the Commission proposes that no seed can move before all testing is complete. This poses a very serious logistics challenge which Britain’s seed merchants will struggle to cope with.”

AIC will lobby with others, both from the UK and via the European Seed Association to safeguard the existing UK practice.

“We have gathered considerable support and trust that our needs will be recognised as a pragmatic solution that still protects the rights of farmers buying certified seed,” said Mr Taylor.


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