A NEW online seed certification service for seed merchants and plant breeders needs further development and government support before true benefits are realised, says one user.

The system, developed by DEFRA and NIAB to streamline the seed certification process, is attracting growing interest from a number of companies, said NIAB‘s Andy Mitchell.

“The system has built-in checks designed to pick up on the inconsistencies inherent in the manual paper-driven submission of data to DEFRA and NIAB.”

But Allied Grain‘s Charlie Flack, who has been involved with development from the outset, believes it is still early days for the system and more work is needed to get firms on board.

“Overall if DEFRA/ NIAB are prepared to reduce the fees for the system, they will attract more support from the trade,” he said.

Further information on the online seed certification system can be found on the DEFRA website.