ESA launches European Seed Treatment Assurance scheme
May 9, 2012
ESA European Seed Association has now officially launched its “European Seed Treatment Assurance” (ESTA) scheme for quality assurance during the application of plant protection
products to seed (seed treatment) and the handling and use of treated seed.
The scheme is led by the seed sector and establishes the first comprehensive system and respective processes for quality assurance and management of seed treatment.
“We are very proud to have arrived at this point today” says Garlich v. Essen, Secretary General of ESA. “This is a milestone in the history of ESA and Europe’s seed industry!”
The scheme, a trademark protected ESA initiative, combines several elements that shall help to guarantee professional, high quality seed treatment applications. It comprises:
- a quality assurance charter (ESTA Standard) which provides the base for an independent certification of treatment sites by accredited auditors
- a guidance for auditors (ESTA Checklist) to promote and simplify the harmonised use and interpretation of the standard
- defined maximum dust reference values
- a uniform testing protocol for these dust reference values
- recommendations for safe use labelling of treated seed and information to be supplied to users
Certified treatment facilities will be granted a license to make use of the ESTA logo on the seed treated in their facilities. This logo shall not only document that the treatment process and resulting seed are of a certain quality; in combination with the safe use labelling advice it shall also help to facilitate the free movement of treated seed throughout the European Union.
“The seed sector is serious in its commitment to assure high quality treated seed that is safe for users, safe for the environment and that supplies Europe’s farmers and growers with the best available crop protection at minimum dosages of chemicals.”, von Essen underlines and points to the significant related investments of the industry. “Next to the development of the protocols, the costs for the independent audits and certifications of facilities, we also invest in a lot in awareness raising, information, training and -of course- management.” For the latter, ESA is now starting a specific recruitment process for a dedicated ESTA Manager who shall promote the standard EU wide and assist companies in their respective preparations.
The industry has set itself ambitious targets: within the coming one to three years, it targets a nearly full market penetration throughout the European Union and plans to extend the scheme to further crops and all seed treatment applications.
More news from: ESA - European Seed Association *
Published: May 9, 2012
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