In April 2018, after several years of tough negotiations at the European scale, the sustainable seed sector won a crucial battle in Brussels, through the adoption of a new European Regulation on organic production.
Among various positive changes, Regulation n°2018/848 on organic production has opened the possibility, for all operators and from January 2022, to place seeds of "organic heterogeneous material" on the market, for use in organic farming, home gardening but also in conventional farming.
This possibility should enable organic farming to achieve its fundamental objectives, and in particular "to contribute to a high level of biodiversity", as well as to facilitate "the control of pests and weeds" by preventing damage caused by them, according to the terms of the Regulation itself (Article 4 and Annex II Part I - point 1.10.1).
It should also enable to meet one of the essential requirements of organic production: for the production of plants and plant products, only organic plant propagating material (seeds, tubers...) may be used. The availability on the market of new categories of organic seed should help to put an end to the various derogations to this basic rule.
For these regulatory advances to be effective, it is necessary though that field operators seize them and commit to the marketing, reproduction and use of seed of organic heterogeneous material.
To help reaching that purpose, we have been working on the publication of a brochure outlining the regulatory steps to be taken in order to market OHM-labelled varieties. It is available in English, German and French. If you would like to receive a few copies to distribute to your members and partners, please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll ask you to cover the postage costs only. Otherwise you can download the digital version of the brochure, as well as the Commission's publication of the Delegated Regulation on OHM and its Annex.