Modern seed treatments are very effective. However, during the processing, transportation and sowing of treated seeds dust contaminated with active substances can be mechanically abraded. This dust, which has the potential for negative impacts on non-target arthropods such as bees, can then contaminate non-target areas.
Hereupon, stewardship programs have been essentially implemented to minimize those incidents, to ensure the high quality of the treated seeds and to provide evidence of best practice being implemented: ESTA and Heubach-CoP certifications.
The European Seed Association (ESA) has developed the European Seed Treatment Assurance (ESTA) Standard to guarantee high quality seed treatment that meets the requirement defined by legislators and industry. ESTA certification verifies good practice across the whole seed treatment production process: from testing the stability of the treatment recipe through to the packaging and storage of treated seeds.
As an independent and ESA approved certification body SGS can provide audit and certification services in all countries where ESTA is applicable, including certification against Heubach CoP which is an ESA approved scheme.
The Heubach Test method, developed by the Seed Treatment Industry Stewardship Steering Committee (STISSC), can determine the quantity of floating dust particles generated by treated seeds under defined mechanical stresses, enabling you to quantify the risk posed by specific seed treatment recipes. Testing must however be conducted by certified Heubach Laboratories.
As an STISSC approved certification body, we can certify Heubach laboratories providing dust testing services. The Heubach CoP certification scheme applies to the in-house laboratories of seed treatment plants and external independent laboratories in Europe who monitor the floating dust of treated seeds.
Participants in the Heubach CoP scheme are committed to undergoing three test routines, conducted and supervised by a certification body such as SGS:
- Two onsite audits – an initial certification audit and a further surveillance audit (within three years)
- Annual random sample cross checks
- Annual proficiency tests
On successful completion of these test routines certification will be granted, thus demonstrating a laboratory’s reliability, its credibility and competency for dust monitoring services alongside all seed treatment processes.
Contact SGS today to learn how we can support your operations.