The Australian Seeds Authority (ASA) is responsible for controlling seed certification in Australia, and oversights two certification schemes:
- the OECD Schemes for the Varietal Certification or the Control of Seed Moving in International Trade, and
- the Australian Seed Certification Scheme
ASA is licensed by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) to undertake the role of the National Designated Authority for the OECD seed schemes, and, at the request of the Australian seed industry, operates the Australian Seed Certification Scheme which is used principally for seed not destined for export.
The rules of the Australian Seed Certification Scheme are essentially the same as for the OECD seed schemes, with only a few differences in the requirements for post-control testing.
ASA, in turn, licenses three certification agencies, Seed Services Australia, AsureQuality and Agwest Plant Laboratories, through formal Authorisation Agreements to undertake the day to day operations of seed certification. Each of these seed certification agencies is required to achieve, and maintain, accreditation with NATA (the National Association of Testing Authorities) for their management and record systems to ensure that they are meeting the requirements of ASA in conducting seed certification programs which comply with the rules of the OECD and the Australian Seed Certification schemes.
ASA also co-ordinates official Australian interaction with the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) on international seed testing policy and practice and has signed Authorisation Agreements with four ISTA-accredited laboratories to test certified seed prior to its final release as certified organic seeds.
ASA has established two committees to assist in its operations.
The ASA Technical Advisory Committee (ASATAC) is composed of representatives of certification agencies and the seed industry and provides advice on technical matters to the ASA Board.
The Public Variety Maintenance Panel (PVMP) is responsible for oversighting Maintenance Agreements on older public varieties for which the breeder is no longer willing or able to continue a supply of Basic Seed of varieties for which there is an ongoing demand for certified seed. Further information on ASATAC and PVMP is available elsewhere on this site.
ASA is a not-for-profit company, jointly established in 2002 by the Australian Seed Federation (ASF), and the Grains Council of Australia (GCA). With the demise of the GCA in 2009, Grain Producers Australia (GPA) is now the seed grower body jointly sharing control of ASA.
ASA has a Board of 7 Directors, a CEO and an Executive Officer and reports to DAFF and to ASF and GPA.
Contact details for ASA are:
Postal address: PO Box 187 Lindfield, NSW 2070.
CEO email: email@example.com