b'and the relative profitability of different crops. The plant healthIn 1993 Finland joined the International Union for the and developing plant breeding also have an important role inProtection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). A designation such measures.agreement on variety testing with the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) was concluded in 2009 concerning the most SEED PRODUCTION AND PLANT BREEDING important species cultivated in Finland. IN FINLAND Finland acceded to the EU in 1995. Finland has a long his-The annual seed production area is about 36,000 ha. The mosttory of active cooperation with the other Nordic countries, and significant seed plants are spring cereals and grasses. Seed issince the 1990s collaboration has been extended to the Baltic produced in all parts of country, except for the very north. Eachcountries as well. year about 70 million kg of seed as well as 22 million kg of seed potato is certified.Seed production is practised by private companies, which includes seed production contracts with farmers. The majority of the seed plants are characteristically small and operate in connection with farms. We have a plant breeding of our own for cereals and forage grasses, oil crops and protein crops in Finland. Approximately 65% of those crops are cultivated with varieties bred in Finland; the remaining varieties are imported from the other countries. The variety market in Finland faces high competition.It is also characteristic to our market that the degree of use of Farm Saved Seed (FSS) is higher than many other EU countries. The degree of use of certified seeds is around 30% in Finland. The increased risk to our seed market is the Strict Liability under the Act of Seed Trade. This Act specifies that the Finnish seed companies have a higher financial risk when there is a doubt expressed over the quality of the seeds. That is a signifi-cant difference compared to the other countries with the liabilityBoard meeting of the Finnish Seed Trade Associationonly in fault cases. SEED CERTIFICATION IN FINLAND FINNISH SEED TRADE ASSOCIATION (FSTA)The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry conducts strategicThe Finnish Seed Trade Association (FSTA) was established planning and legislative preparation for the seed sector. Thein 1940. The association consist of 17 member companies and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry also steers the Finnishhas four sections: plant breeding, field crops, horticulture and Food Authority, which is responsible for the seed certification.seed potatoes. The Seed Certification Unit of the Authority is responsibleThe FSTA promotes the seed industrys interest with the for field inspections and seed sampling, post control and seedstakeholders and participates in the national policymaking. An certification, as well as seed control and DUS-testing. One ofimportant role of the association is to raise the discussion on the the key priorities of the Seed Certification Unit is to prevent theimportance of good seed material. spread of wild oats (Avena fatua).The plant breeding section of the association is responsible Finland also has a High-Grade Region for high quality seedfor the royalty collection of Farm Saved Seed in Finland. potato production in the North Ostrobotnia Region, Finland. ThisUnder the horticulture section is a working group for lawn area has extended daylight hours during the long Finnish summergrass seed. The working group maintains the classification days, and this has an advantageous impact on the starch forma- standards for lawn grass seed in Finland.tion and crop capacity of seed potatoes. The local climate andThe Association is a member of the European Seed stone-free sandy soil are also perfectly suited for potato farming. Association (ESA) and International Seed Federation (ISF). The farmlands are free of pests and diseases leading to an outstanding quality of the potatoes grown in High Grade areas.FARM SAVED SEED (FSS) IN FINLANDSuch regions are free of dangerous plant pests, such as theWe have a national plant variety protection law called the Act golden nematode, the bacterial ring rot of potato or the potatoon Plant Breeders Rights in Finland. There is a derogation for wart disease. The number of aphid-transmitted virus diseasesFarm Saved Seed under the national law. is limited, so the virus situation can be kept well under control.The variety owners and representatives have authorized Cold weather and ground frost in winter inhibit the multiplica- FSTA to collect royalty. The level of the royalty is negotiated tion of plant pests with FSTA and the Farmers Union. The mandate for that is based The requirements and inspections concerning seed potatoon the Act. The royalty is hectare-based with two levels: one production in Finland are based on national legislation, which isfor cereals, oil seeds and pulses and the other one for potatoes. stricter than that of the European Union. Furthermore, withinThe data of production area and varieties are collected via a the High Grade area the national legislation allows for the appli- Single Payment Scheme from farmers. FSTA gets the data from cation of even stricter measures against dangerous potato peststhe authorities and charges the farmers based on that.than in other parts of the country.INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS http://www.siemenkauppiaat.fi/ Finland has been a member of the International Seed Testing Association ISTA since it was established in 1924. Finland joined the OECD Seed Schemes in 1966.EUROPEAN-SEED.COMIEUROPEAN SEED I 21'