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Certification of seed potatoes in New Zealand is provided by the New Zealand Seed Potato Certification Authority, which runs a national quality assurance programme. The Authority is a subcommittee of Potatoes New Zealand Inc.

The Authority is a completely independent agent of the potato industry. The Authority establishes the seed potato certification rules, including disease tolerances, and has the task of ensuring seed potatoes are true-to-type. This is done by contracting independent, specialised inspectors from international quality assurance companies SGS and AsureQuality to visually inspect crops in the field as well as tubers after harvesting.

Whilst membership of the NZ Seed Potato Certification Scheme is voluntary,  growers cannot sell certified seed potatoes (the kind of seed potatoes buyers want) without signing up to the programme, following its rules and undergoing its inspections.

Strategy Implications:

The 2013 Potato Industry Strategy states the key objective of the NZSPCA is to improve the rules, systems and structures of seed certification to better meet the intent of quality assurance and increase participation in the scheme.

The key activities for the NZSPCA, which were identified in the strategic plan were to:

  • Review the rules for quality assurance and certification (overseen by the NZSPCA technical committee)
  • Review the capacity of inspection providers to perform necessary tasks
    • Specifically the availability of qualified, competent inspectors at peak times
  • Review the alignment of the seed certification authority with the best interests of the industry overall
    • Structure
    • Costs
    • Outcomes.

Previously in 2005, Potatoes New Zealand had undertaken a review of the seed potato certification operations, processes and rules, and is in the process of adopting several recommendations. Read the full review findings.

Documents:

Name Downloads
Name Downloads
Seed Crop Registration
12 downloads
12 downloads
2019 Seedlines & Rulebook PDF
64 downloads
Seedlines G3-G6 2018-19
1353 downloads
The History of Potato Seed Certification in NZ 1927-2000 - HB Maunder (Low Res)
354 downloads
262 downloads
Requirements for approved organisations New Zealand Seed Potato Certification Authority September 2015
272 downloads
291 downloads
285 downloads
2015 Grower Seed Tuber Inspection Grading Report Form (Word)
248 downloads
2015 Grower Seed Tuber Inspection Grading Report Form (PDF)
253 downloads
551 downloads
Seed Potato Certification Review August 2005
293 downloads