Basic rules for seed selection on organic farms:
- The plant propagation material coming from organic production should be used on organic farms.
- The Main Inspectorate of Plant Health and Seed Inspection in Warsaw maintains a list of seed suppliers, seed material and vegetative propagating material produced organically.
- The seed material must meet the requirements regarding the production, quality and marketing, which are clarified in the Act of 9 November 2012 on seed (Dz. U. of 2012 item 1512, as amended) and the implementing Regulations.
- It is not allowed to use chemical seed treatment or cultivate GM crops on organic farms.
Organic farming and the legal protection of plant varieties:
- Growing by the use of organic methods use also plant varieties protected by an exclusive right!
- Production of the seed material of a protected variety can be done only with written consent (read: license) from a breeder being the holder of an exclusive right to a variety; a licensee is obliged also to pay a royalty to the breeder.
- The law allows the farmer to sow the harvested material of a variety protected by an exclusive right without written authorization from the breeder, subject to paying him the fee in the amount of 50% of the royalty for each kilogram of seed (this is the so-called the privilege of agricultural exemption).
- The obligation to pay for FSS applies equally to organic farms and conventional ones with the area > 10ha of the agricultural land (in case of planting the potato varieties) and > 25ha of the agricultural land (other species of agricultural plants).
- Note! Not all agricultural plant species are legally admitted to be used as the agricultural exemption (FSS)! (Check here)
- In accordance to Article 8 of the Commission Regulation (EC) No 1768/95 of 24 July 1995 implementing rules on the agricultural exemption provided for in Article 14 (3) of Council Regulation (EC) No 2100/94 on Community plant variety right Agencja Nasienna is allowed to send to a farmer the request for information, if he used for sowing the harvested seed of the varieties protected with an exclusive right.
- The answer in writing should include information if the farmer used the harvested material in the scope of FSS exemption, or not. If so, the farmer should indicate in this information the variety name, the sowed area and the quantity of sowed harvested material.
- If the farmer doesn’t know the variety name, he can put into information only the names of the species with the annotation „unknown variety”. However, he should without delay, without waiting for an audit, determine the names of the varieties, to pay the possible FSS fees.
If the farmer sowed a variety not included in the lists of varieties (Appendices 1-4), attached to the request for information from Agencja Nasienna and he is not sure if he is obliged to pay the FSS fee, he may indicate that variety in the information to be checked. If the variety is not protected with an exclusive right, the farmer won’t be billed.
To get more information please see the subpage „FAQs” (the section „I have problem with the name of a variety…”)
The farmer may ask Agencja Nasienna to temporarily suspend sending to him the requests for information, indicating the reason in the written statement (that he uses only certified seed or that all his agricultural land is under permanent pasture etc.).
Sending the requests of information is also suspended for the duration of the agreement concluded between Agencja Nasienna and the farmer or the farmers’ organization that represents him.