Commission Directive 2008/62/ EC allows the marketing of seed potatoes of "old varieties" (Conservation varieties). Conservation varieties are defined as varieties naturally adapted to local and regional conditions ("region of origin") and are threatened by genetic erosion. In Scotland the marketing regulations have been amended to include conservation varieties within the Seed Potato Classification Scheme (SPCS).
The legislative provisions require that Conservation varieties must be officially listed in the UK before marketing can take place. The "region of origin" has been defined as the UK and only varieties deemed to have originated here or for which historical evidence of adaption to UK conditions exists will be eligible for listing.
Applications for conservation variety status can be made to FERA. You will note that some technical DUS information is required to support the application. SASA will be able to assist applicants in completing their applications for these varieties. In preparing your application you may wish to contact Dr John Kerr, firstname.lastname@example.org, who can discuss the process with you.
All conservation varieties grown in areas larger than 0.1 of a hectare (total Scottish area per variety) must be listed as conservation varieties to be eligible for marketing/movement in 2010/2011.
A pragmatic approach is being adopting for the listing of crops grown on a small area (up to 0.1 hectares) over a period of years. This will apply provided growers take steps to list a reasonable proportion of the varieties they multiple each year. Growers should contact SASA to discuss further.
Applicants should note that listing a variety does not mean the applicant controls the variety. Such varieties will be freely available to all. Growers may, therefore, wish to collaborate in listing a variety.
Inspection and labelling of Conservation Varieties
The seed production of these varieties will be subject to the same arrangements as other varieties on the National List and parental material must be derived initially from SASA nuclear stock.
The labels issued for crops of these varieties will state that the variety is a conservation variety and state the "region of origin" ( e.g. the UK).
Marketing of each Conservation variety of seed potato is limited to 0.3% of the seed potatoes used in the Member State (the UK) in one growing season. The total quantity of conservation varieties marketed shall not exceed 10% of seed potatoes used yearly in the UK. The quantity of such seed potatoes will be monitored to ensure that the tonnage of such seed potatoes marketed per year does not exceed the overall limit specified.