THE SEED industry has a new, low cost online system that promises to make certification of varieties easier.

The government-funded Seed Certification Online system is set to shave at least £80,000 off the £1.5 million currently spent on certification, which is recovered from the industry.

The new system, funded over two years, by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and through the Treasury‘s Invest to Save programme, was launched on Wednesday (June 30).

Plant Health, varieties and seeds minister, Ben Bradshaw said the move came in response to the seed industry‘s requests for an electronic applications system.

“I hope that companies will now take the opportunity to use the system and help themselves and DEFRA to gain the benefits that this system can deliver,” he said.

The new system promises:

  • Faster delivery of service
  • Built in checks to reduce errors
  • Reduction in administrative costs
  • Automatic fee calculation
  • More payment options including debit and credit cards.

Fifteen seed certification companies have “rigorously” tested the new system, which can be accessed via the DEFRA website, since October 2003, added DEFRA.