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The Netherlands

The text on this page was compiled by the Centre for genetic Resources, The Netherlands (CGN) and last updated in September 2020.

Go to: Species occurring in the wild > Crops managed in garden / on farm > PGR exchange > Phytosanitary issues > Marketing of crops by small scale farmers/gardeners

Access to information about in situ conserved material

Species occurring in the wild

In the Netherlands, the organisation FLORON maintains an overview of all occurring wild plant species and their location. To quote their website:

"FLORON -or Plant Conservation Netherlands- was founded in 1988 and is the leading organization in the Netherlands for monitoring flora with volunteers.

Every year, 800-1000 km2 (1/30th part of the country) is monitored as part of a citizen science project that started already in 1901. In the Netherlands, identifying plants and mapping their distribution is primarily carried out by volunteers

Based on the data of FLORON, low resolution maps of all wild plant species occurring in The Netherlands are accessible via the Nationale Databank Flora en Fauna Verspreidingsatlas (National Database of Flora and Fauna Distribution Map, website only accessible in Dutch).

Dutch CWR
Also based on FLORON data, the Centre for Genetic Resources, The Netherlands (CGN) has created an overview of priority crop wild relatives (CWR) occurring in The Netherlands on the website CWRnl.

It gives access to their distribution, conservation status and more, in English, using crops (linking to their CWR), English species name or botanical name as starting point for a search for useful PGR. 

Crops managed in garden / on farm

The Oranje Lijst (Orange List) gives an overview of crop plant varieties that were grown in The Netherlands between 1850 and 1940.

It lists 6637 varieties of 63 crops, providing detailed information and sometimes pictures of the varieties. The list also shows if the varieties are still available in the market or from a genebank, and if this is the case (925 are) information is given about where they can be obtained.

All data can be searched online and downloaded in a spreadsheet. Website, database and spreadsheet are in Dutch.

The Oerakker

The Oerakker is an NGO that brings together various Dutch actors active in the field of conservation and use of old varieties.

To quote (and translate) their website:

"De Oerakker wants to improve the fate of old crops and varieties once grown in the Netherlands and protect them from disappearing and preserve the historic agricultural and horticultural crops as living cultural heritage."

The website provides a wide range of information about participating networks, organisations and projects, sometimes providing links to information about the collections in various forms and formats. Website ans linked information is only available in Dutch. 

Access to the material

PGR exchange

As The Netherlands is a member of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) the official points of reference are presented on the Dutch country profile page of the CBD site.

One of the links provided there is the National Focal Point on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS Focal Point). Regarding access to PGR in the Netherlands it states: "The Dutch Government adopted the policy document Sources of Existence, which serves as a guideline for its programmes and activities in the field of genetic resources, in 2002.

The document states that the government does not deem it necessary to exercise its national sovereignty regarding access and use of genetic resources occurring in the Netherlands in national legislation (see section 3.2).

The government also favours a facilitated access policy, as open as possible, for exchange of genetic resources between countries, based on prior informed consent and in full recognition of the interests of various stakeholders (see section 3.1). It does not require users of genetic resources under its sovereignty to obtain PIC from the government. However, other legislation, such as species or habitat protection, may apply and access may not be free of obligations."

In other words, the Dutch government doesn't have to approve use of its PGR, but obviously other obligations connected to obtaining material have to be respected.  

If material is obtained from an organisation or individual, it is possible that a material transfer agreements (MTA) has to be signed, listing the arrangements between the holder and the user.

But, as the ABS Focal Point states "The Dutch government encourages private collection holders to make their collections available to third parties in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Major public collection holders include the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute and the various botanical gardens in the Netherlands. Whereas the Fungal Biodiversity Centre makes use of its own MTA, most botanical gardens follow the IPEN Code of Conduct and the associated MTA. Both MTA's only cover use for non-commercial purposes."

Many organisations and individuals holding PGR are not experienced with (international) exchange or use of their material and will not be familiar with possible legislation involved.

In case of doubt, CGN is always available to advice or act as an intermediate. For example, CGN has agreed with one of the larger nature protection organisations in the Netherlands that if someone wants to use CWR occurring in their domains, the request should be channeled via CGN.

CGN can, in many cases, help find the responsible person in the relevant organisation and support setting up an agreement, and possibly collect and ship the material. 

Phytosanitary issues

Obviously the phytosanitary rules regarding international transport of plants need to be followed. The requirements change frequently, and therefor no overview can be given.

The relevant regulations for the EU are difficult to read. It currently (September 2020) concerns Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 on protective measures against pests of plants, Regulation (EU) 2017/625 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products, Regulation (EU) 2019/2072 on establishing uniform conditions for the implementation of Regulation (EU) 2016/2031, and finally Regulation (EU) 2019/829 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2016/2031.

In case of doubt, the Dutch inspection services can be contacted, these are NAKtuinbouw for horticultural crops and NAK for agricultural crops.

Both organisations carry out their services under the supervision of the Netherlands Foods and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).

Specific information on the marketing of crops produced by small scale farmers/gardeners in the Netherlands

Trading seeds

In general seed of varieties can only be traded if these varieties are present on the EU variety list.

When traded the provider is obliged to comply to the agreements on germination, purity, packaging and labelling, etc. One the tasks of the inspection services (NAKtuinbouw, NAK) is to inspect this.

Vegetable varieties in the Netherlands that are exclusively meant for trading to private (non-professional) sector can be admitted via a simplified and cheaper regime. If the revenues per variety per year for a grower is less than € 500 then there will be no control. If the revenues for a grower are more than € 500 per year for a variety then one needs to register at the inspection services which varieties are cultivated. The costs involved are shown on the NAKtuinbouw website.

To give an indication, in 2016 the application costs were € 42 per variety and the research costs € 217 for outside cultivations and € 339 for greenhouse cultivations.

After admittance of a variety there are moderate annual inspection costs (infrequently taking place and checks on diseases and pests) and a revenue contribution on the total revenues.

Also one needs to label its produce via the EG system which implies that on the label st (=standard) is indicated, a batch number (one can do this oneself, it is for external control), date of packaging, name and address of NAK codenumber, NAK registration number, quantity indication.

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