About Vitalis

Organic Seed

Seed production
As in organic horticulture, organic seed production rejects the use of fertilizer and chemicals. To prevent pests and diseases, crop rotation and use of natural enemies of pest insects are applied. An optimal micro climate with respect to plant health is secured by careful management of the crop with respect to items such as plant distance and leaf removal. Our seed production cultures are located in areas where conditions are favourable with respect to development of plant and seeds and disease pressure. Since different crops require different conditions, we produce seeds in greenhouse as well as in open field in the Netherlands, but also for instance in Southern Europe.

Health and germination of seeds produced are carefully checked. After this strict screening, only those seeds that meet the demands for professional use, are used to be sold.

Organic Plantbreeding

- Organic seed -
In accordance with current regulations, growers in organic agriculture are obliged to use seed that is produced in organic way. More info about this subject can be found on www.organicxseeds.com or on the EU website .

- Organic Plant Breeding -
A distinction is made between (certified) organic breeding and breeding for the organic market. In the first case, the entire breeding process is under guard to meet organic standards, in the second, the final product and its properties are especially suited to organic culture. At this moment there is (with the exception of GMOs) no official policy with regard to organic breeding. This means that all varieties and all breeding techniques are allowed to be used in organic culture.

The past years it has been discussed which breeding techniques will be either allowed or undesirable in the future. Several reports concerning this issue have been published sofar. One could say that, when techniques are arranged according the concerned plant-, cell- or molecular level, the acceptance decreases according as the technique concerned is further removed from the plant level. Also those techniques, which are further from (in vivo) natural processes and especially those by which boundaries between species are passed, are less desirable in organic breeding. Moreover, the use of certain forms of sterility are undesirable, when this blocks further use in breeding of varieties thus developed. In other words; varieties should be able without limitation to pass on their genes to future breeding programs. Consequently, the use of patents that hamper this aspect is not accepted.

The use of hybrids is not a problem in most of the cases. Breeder's rights are respected and accepted.

Certification of organic breeding programs is not yet practicable at the moment, since a waterproof system to check kinship between varieties is missing.

Organic breeding also holds a market approach, by which especially is sought after properties that are desirable for organic culture, such as efficiency in use of nutrients or a broad resistance to pests and diseases. Also, an outstanding flavour is pre-eminently a selection criterion which has to be considered for the organic market. After all, flavour is a decisive factor in consumer's (buying) behaviour!

Vitalis have developed breeding activities on it's own for a (limited) number of crops, but for various crops also cooperates intensively with the breeding programs of Enza Zaden. From these, candidate varieties, especially suited to organic culture, can be selected in particular. Through our own activities as well as the cooperation with Enza Zaden, Vitalis like no other are able to offer a broad assortment of varieties for professional organic culture.

Gene technology
Organic agriculture rejects the use of plants which have been genetically modified using gene technology. In this context, different terms are used which amount to the same; Genetic modification or manipulation,

Transgene plants.
In agreement with EU-regulation 2092/91, the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO's) and derived products, as described in guidance 90/220/EC, is not allowed in organic growing and for organic products. Vitalis certify that all seed produced, processed, packed and sold by our company, do not contain GMO's, nor is derived there from.

More information on this subject can be found on http://www.biogene.org/ .