Certified seed can only be produced from a variety included in the official list of plant varieties.
A variety is always approved for the variety list at national level, and the approved status remains in force for 10 years. In addition, the EU Commission produces a compilation of the member states’ variety lists, the Common Catalogue. All varieties listed in this catalogue may be produced and marketed in the EU area.
The criteria for approval in the variety list include the distinctness of the variety from other varieties, its uniformity, and the stability of its characteristics.Moreover, the maintenance of the variety must be guaranteed, and its value for cultivation in relation to other varieties must be assessed.
The National List of Plant Varieties of Finland and the Plant Variety Board
In Finland, the Plant Variety Board decides on the approval of a variety for inclusion in the National List of Plant Varieties. The Plant Variety Board is an expert organ set up by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, its members representing the various operators in the food chain.
A variety approved for inclusion in the National List of Plant Varieties has been subjected to official Value for Cultivation and Use Testing in Finland, which has found the variety to be an improvement on the prevailing Finnish choice of varieties in terms of its value for cultivation. Turfgrass plants must have test results for three years, others a minimum of two years’ results. The value for cultivation and use of turfgrass varieties is determined through Scandinavian Turfgrass Testing. The Finnish List of Plant Varieties is published annually in the Finnish Plant Variety Journal.