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Report on criteria list and evaluation guide for derogation regime

Thommen, Andreas (2007) Report on criteria list and evaluation guide for derogation regime. EEC 2092/91 (Organic Revision Project Reports), no. D 5.3. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, CH-Frick .

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Document available online at: http://www.organic-revision.org/pub/D_5_3_European_seed_report_FINAL.pdf


This report presents an analysis of the national reports according EC Regulation 1452/2003 of the years 2004 and 2005, recording the number of authorisations permitted, the quantity of nonorganic seeds used and the main reasons for allowing derogation for each crop (species). The work was carried out as part of the “EEC 2092/91 (Organic) Revision” project (No. SSPE-CT-2004-502397) within the EU 6th Framework Programme.
The main objective was to analyse national derogation reports with respect to total seed use of selected species/subspecies, and to analyse the feedback from expert interviews and meetings regarding the implementation of the new seed regulation, in order to provide recommendations for further improvement of the implementation of the organic seed regulation.
The national annual organic seed reports 2004 and 2005 differ much in form and quality. The data show considerable differences in the offer of organic seeds and the use of non-organic seeds between the reporting states.
Authorisations for the use of non-organic seeds or a general derogation mean a financial benefit for the respective farmers. Since the seed costs can not be neglected in calculating the whole sale product price, countries with high rates of non-organic seeds can take advantage of this situation on the European market.
Harmonisation of the derogation policy on EU-level as well as on national level should therefore be of high importance for the authorities. To increase the use of organic seed we propose the following measures to be taken:
Measures recommended on national level
1. Some national databases need technical improvement and more registered varieties to be a useful tool for organic farmers. International cooperation of the database managers should be enhanced.
2. A registration duty for farmers calling for a derogation of the acreage planted or the number of pot plants produced, in order to allow the evaluation of the acreage planted with non-organic seeds in the national organic seed reports.
3. Use of a standardised reporting scheme including a common species list, subtotals for crop groups (e.g. vegetables), species and subspecies to make reports comparable. Assembling of raw data versions according to a common template in order to allow a direct comparison in Pivot-tables. The reports should immediately be made publicly available, according to Art. 12 and 13 of the EC-Regulation 1452/2003.
4. Establishment at a national level of lists of equivalent varieties (useful for professional growers) for every subspecies (variety group) in order to facilitate the decision making of the control bodies and to make possible, that individual calls for derogation can be denied with respect to farmers needs.
5. Establish a fee system that balances the cost difference between organic and non-organic seed in order to avoid unfair competition. This money can be used to promote organic seed marketing, to support organic seed production and breeding projects as well as to reduce the price of organic seeds.
6. Introduction of national Annexes as preliminary stage to come to a common European one (Annex 1) with respect to the national organic seed offer. Making the organic seed use compulsory would give security for the seed companies to increase the organic seed production.
7. In order to grant fair conditions among EU producers, common Annexes with neighbour countries or countries with similar production systems and markets (especially export markets) should be favoured. Annexes on national or bilateral/regional level seem to be more realistic, than a common European Annex 1. The number of species/subspecies listed in the national Annex 1 has to increase annually.
Measures recommended on EU-Commission level
1. In order to harmonize organic seed availability among EU Member States and facilitate seed companies in supplying their seeds wherever requested, it should be possible for all seed companies to enter the National database of all Members States where they have a local distributor.
2. To allow well supplied subspecies according to cultivation and use (crop types, variety groups, e.g. cherry tomatoes) to be listed on the Annex 1 instead of whole botanical species. In cases of unforeseen shortage of organic seed, national authorities should get the right to allow individual derogations according Article 5.1 of the EC-Regulation 1452/2003.
3. Including the use of non-organic basic seed as reason in Article 5 (1) for derogation for Annex 1 species, to get more complete data in the seed reports, (in addition to already mentioned exemptions for conservation varieties and variety trials).
4. Currently it is very difficult to produce grass seed mixtures with 100% organic components. Grass seed mixtures with a legally defined minimal share of organic seed components should get the right to be listed in the organic seed databases.
5. To extend the regulation system and the reporting to vegetative propagation material.
6. Introduction of a registration duty for the variety name, the amount of conventional seeds used and the acreage planted, respectively the number of pot plants for species or subspecies with general derogation in order to get more information about the demand of poorly supplied species/ subspecies.
7. Introduction of a detailed list of possible reasons for individual derogation calls defined in Article 5.1 d) of the EC-regulation in order to get precise data about the needed variety characteristics for the seed companies and as decision background for the bodies issuing the derogations. Registration duty for farmers of the agronomical reasons according the following list: variety trials, conservation varieties, basis seed for the production of organic seeds, specific soil conditions, tolerance or resistance against pests, climatic conditions or altitude, contract production with prescription of the variety, market demand or processing quality, form or quality of the seed (e.g. pilled or pre-germinated seed), other reasons (to be specified in words).
8. Setting a time limit of three years to abandon “General Derogation” for arable crops and most important annual vegetable species /subspecies.
9. Setting a time limit of five years to reach less than 5% derogations for important arable crops, annual vegetables and the most important biennial vegetables.
10. Advise the national authorities to withdraw obstacles and implement measures, which stimulate agricultural biodiversity on organic farms.

EPrint Type:Report
Keywords:Anbautechnik einjährige Kulturen, Biosaatgut, seed; derogation
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Values, standards and certification > Regulation
Crop husbandry > Breeding, genetics and propagation
Research affiliation:Austria > HBLFA Raumberg-Gumpenstein
Netherlands > Louis Bolk Institute
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Anbautechnik
European Union > Organic Revision
International Organizations > International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM > IFOAM EU Group
Italy > Other organizations
UK > Univ. Aberystwyth > Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS)
Denmark > Other organizations
Related Links:http://www.organic-revision.org/
Deposited By: Padel, Dr Susanne
ID Code:10938
Deposited On:16 Jul 2007
Last Modified:18 Nov 2020 08:51
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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