October 9th, 2013
The European Commission are have created a new bureaucracy called the “EU Plant Variety Agency” which sets a new law for home gardeners making it illegal to “grow, reproduce or trade” vegetable seeds that have not been “tested, approved and accepted”.
The reason behind this is to abandon the old slate of existing EU laws concerning horticulture as it is too vague and unclear on the trading of plants.
All varieties of plants will need an ORD (officially recognised description). This must include specific characteristics of each plant in order to make it distinguishable and identifiable.
ORDs must have succinct description for the plant in growth, in seed, in flower and in bud. This can be a long and expensive process to record all stages of the growth of a plant and may take several months.
The measure of how strict this law is that no varieties will be able to be sold without an ORD. This leads to the sad fact that there will be reduced diversity and loss of varieties of plants in the UK gardening sector because owners may feel it is not worth the expense or time to invest money to write descriptions of plants that do not sell.
From a seller’s point of view it is understandable not to invest money in plants that don’t sell well because to have ORDs written by an experienced person is roughly in the £400-£500 region.