Plant Varieties and Seeds

The Federal Office for Agriculture ensures that the Swiss agriculture has plant reproduction material of high quality deriving from appropriate plant varieties.

The "plant reproduction material" includes seeds, potato seedlings, grafts, stocks and young seedlings of fruit varieties and grape-wine. Seed legislation ensures that, for the most important types of crops, only quality- and identity-assured seeds from performance-tested plant varieties are made available for agriculture. The FOAG is re-sponsible for drawing up and updating the related ordinances. It publishes the National Catalogue of Varieties record-ing the species of cropland, fodder plants and vegetables as well as the grape varieties. It is also responsible for the implementation of regulations related to production, certification and circulation of plant reproduction material. On the basis of the regulations recorded in the 6th annex of the Agricultural Agreement CH-EU, the FOAG facilitates the ex-change of plant reproduction material between the Swiss and EU agricultures.

The varieties must fulfill two examinations successfully in order to be included in the National Catalogue of Varieties. The first examination checks if a variety is homogeneous, stable and distinct in its morphological and phenological characteristics from all others. The second step in the examination evaluates the cultivation potential and the pro-cessing aptitude. It consists of testing if a variety shows an improvement in comparison with standard varieties. The varieties are both recorded in the National Catalogue of Varieties as well as in the EU's Catalogue (Link).

The FOAG keeps watch over the production and circulation of plant reproduction material. The seeds of the used species for cropland and fodder plants must be certified before being put into circulation. They must fulfill minimal standards as regards to authenticity and purity of the variety in its whole, to the presence of other seeds from different plant species and to the germination and health. The certification is not compulsory for fruit trees and grape-wine reproduction material. The certification contributes nonetheless to a long-lasting fruit and wine production in Switzerland in a decisive way.

Further information


Last modification 26.09.2023

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Federal Office for Agriculture FOAG Swiss Federal Service for Seeds and Propagating Material SFSP
Schwarzenburgstrasse 165
3003 Bern
+41 58 460 53 51

Certification body SFSP


Agroscope, Reckenholz site
Reckenholzstrasse 191
8046 Zurich

+41 58 468 71 11


Potato Seeds

Agroscope, Changins site
Route de Duillier 50
1260 Nyon 1

+41 58 460 44 44


Propagating Material of Fruit Species and Vine

+41 58 462 25 50


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