FERA issues consultation on new European seed legislation

Defra has issued a new consultation on amateur vegetable varieties and conservation.

The Food & Environment Research Agency (FERA) would like to hear from anyone who markets vegetable seed to amateur gardeners as part of a consultation on the implementation of new European legislation. The legislation aims to protect genetic variation in vegetables by encouraging the growing of heritage varieties and new varieties intended specifically for gardeners.

FERA said this "will provide a simpler route to getting a variety onto the UK National List or the EU Common Catalogue, which is a requirement for marketing. FERA's consultation aims to implement the legislation with the minimum of red tape and regulatory burden".

The consultation on the implementation of Directive 2009/145/EC will run from 4 August to 29 October.

HW (5 March) reported that FERA planned to relax regulations on the selling of thousands of heritage varieties of plant seeds, giving gardeners "a whole new raft of varieties" in the marketplace. It was a move welcomed by the consumer seed industry.

- For further details, see www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/veg-variety/index.htm.

To request a consultation pack, email vegetable.varieties@fera.gsi.gov.uk or call 01223 342375.


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