The European Commission launched today an online database of varieties of agricultural and vegetable crops. The database contains around 19000 varieties of agricultural crops and around 17000 varieties of vegetable crops, the seeds of which can be marketed throughout the EU.
Thanks to its search tool, this new web-based application will provide all potential users with a rapid and easy access to the up-to-date situation of the EU Common Catalogues of plant varieties, although the official versions will continue to be those published in the Official Journal.
Based on the EU legislation on the marketing of seed of agricultural and vegetable crops, EU Member States have to carry out tests on distinctness, uniformity and stability (DUS criteria). For the agricultural crops, the value for cultivation and use (VCU) is also tested. Successful varieties have then to be notified by the Member States to the Commission, which is responsible for their inclusion in the relevant Common Catalogue.
The international community faces nowadays the dual challenge of feeding a growing world population at a time when the global climate changes, which will inevitably impact agriculture and livelihoods. Within this context, new and improved plant varieties are pivotal in ensuring better yields and adaptability to changing climatic and environmental conditions, thereby contributing to long-term food security. In addition, biological diversity is an essential source of material for breeding food and other crops. Efficient variety testing and registration procedures foster the investment environment in research and development of new and improved plant varieties to the benefit of farmers and society in general.