Plant Varieties and Seeds

The Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) 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. The FOAG is responsible for drawing up and updating the related ordinances. It publishes the National Catalogue of Varieties recording 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 exchange of 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 from all others. The second step in the examination evaluates the cultivation potential and the processing 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.

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.

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Last modification 04.04.2019

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