France is the leading seed promoter in Europe and the leading universal exporter, ahead of the United States and the Netherlands. In the region, when a farmer reseeds a part of his harvest from seeds that can be certified, it is called farm-saved seed, and the term peasant seeds is used to define seeds sorted by farmers and created on the farm. Seeds chosen in the traditional way in the rest of the world are called heritage seed. The farmer’s harvest is the result of their quality.
France is a country of seeds thanks to its economy
The seed industry in France indicates more than 246 production companies, more than 70 collection companies, more than 22,000 distributors, and more than 19,000 multiplier farmers. Seed production and selection actions of seed companies or seed companies vary greatly in size. From associations, then SMEs, to international top groups. In particular, the seeds of the majority of species cultivated in Europe must be certified and controlled to be able to be exploited. On the other hand, the variety of a seed, for most vegetable and agricultural species, must be entered either on the Community list in order to be marketed or in the official catalogue of varieties and species at national level.
Different seed qualities are encountered
The main criteria for seeds, according to French regulations, are, varietal purity (this involves calibrating the rate of seeds within the seed lot, away from the original type of plant), specific purity (measuring in the lots the presence of seeds of plants of another species, usually weeds), health (the seeds must be healthy) and germination (this is the quantity of durable germs acquired).
The French influence
Several agents contribute to France’s influence, including the capacity of farmer-multipliers, the difference in soils, an adjusted regulatory framework and the division of quality through an inter-professional order, a dynamic of innovation and bank investments, which can be found in 4 specialised centres. The four professional families are, the selection companies, which, through survey prospectuses, work to assemble the herbs to societal expectations, climates, territories and modern lifestyles. Then, the production companies, which deliver certain types of seeds to farmer-multipliers ready to be used, and the latter amplify them in large quantities before being purchased by the production company. Second, the farmer-multiplier, who is a seed multiplication farmer whose purpose is to maintain the value of the seed given to him by the production company and thus generate it on a large scale. Finally, the seed distributors, whose specialized teachers they rely on, as well as radiation dedicated to large surfaces.