Important legal notice
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Agricultural Markets: Seeds


Seeds are produced in almost all Member States. Denmark, France, Germany, Spain and Italy are among the largest producers.

Seeds are generally classified in groups of varieties. The 4 groups are:

  1.  "Ceres" seeds ("triticum spelta", (spelt) and "Oriza sativa l.", (rice))
  2.  "Oleagineae" seeds (flax, hemp)
  3. "Graminae" seeds (timothy, meadow fescue, cocksfoot, rye grass)
  4. "Leguminosae" seeds (peas, clover, beans)

The production of certified seeds within the EU-27 is approximately 400 000 tonnes, including rice-seed, about 80 000 tonnes, flax and hemp seeds, about 13 000 tonnes, and fodder seeds about 300 000 tonnes.

The current area under production for seeds in the EU-27 is approximately at a level of 350 000 hectares.

Council Regulation

Council Regulation No 1234/2007 establishing a single common organisation of agricultural markets (Single CMO) [pdf] replaces Council Regulation (EC) No 1947/2005 [pdf] on the common organisation of the market in seeds and covers the species of seeds for sowing, as stipulated in Article 1 of said Regulation.

Furthermore the Council Regulation contains provisions in particular concerning:

  • trade of seeds with third countries, including an optional import licence scheme;
  • a disturbance clause;
  • general provisions with regard to State Aid including a special Finnish aid clause;
  • the Management Committee for Seeds and;
  • the communication of information to the Commission.


The seed sector was included in the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of 2003 as set out in [Council Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 consolidated version]. Consequently, Member States had the option to continue distributing coupled support to the production of seeds per species until 2011, or to fully decouple the seed sector financial envelope and to integrate the seeds sector into the single payment scheme. Total decoupling of the aid allows producers to switch to other crops if they wish, while still enjoying a stable income.


Legal basis:

Legislation in force


Single Common Market Organisation

Management Committee

Management Committee for seeds -Archive


- Production (pdf fr)
- Stocks (pdf fr)
- Surfaces (pdf fr)
- Prices (pdf fr)


Report from the Commission to the Council on the results of the aid authorised in Finland for certain quantities of seeds and certain quantities of cereal seed / Proposal for a Council Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 1947/2005 as regards national aid granted by Finland for seeds and cereal seed - COM2007) 323 final, 13/06/2007 [pdf]

Annexes (Commission staff working document) [pdf]

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