Grass and Forage Seed Mixes Organic Inclusion for 2023

2023 Requirements for Seed Derogations

Further to a recent meeting of the Grass Seed Working Group it was recommended to Defra, as the Competent Authority, that the organic percentage requirement for grass and forage (e.g. arable silage or fodder kale & stubble turnip) seed mixtures remains at a minimum by weight of 70% organic components for the coming year. This recommendation has now been approved by the Defra Organic Team.


Remember seed mixes (such as grass mixes) must have an approved derogation for the untreated, non-organic (maximum 30% by weight) allowance in place prior to sowing. The following also applies to seed mixtures:


For single-seed varieties (e.g. barley, oats, potatoes) an approved derogation must be in place prior to purchase.  Where approved a derogation will only permit you to use untreated, non-organic seed on agronomic grounds and only where no suitable variety of organic seed is available. 
Check the availability of organic seed here


Since 2021 there has been an added provision on the seed derogation form for seed to be used on rented organic/in-conversion land. If this applies to you, you will need to factor in time for this section to be completed in conjunction with the landowner as well as for the SOPA Producer Certification Team to process your derogation request ahead of time.

Please note if granted a non-organic seed derogation is only valid for the calendar year that it is granted within.  If you have a carry-over of seed from a previous year you need to reapply for a derogation for use in subsequent years.  

 A derogation must also be sought prior to the use of non-organic or in-conversion farm saved seed when a farm is in the early stages of conversion.

If non-organic seed is purchased and/or sown before a derogation is in place you risk non-compliance at your inspection.

You should speak to your Certification Officer before ordering any seed if you have any queries.

Top Tip - Save time scrambling around and get into the habit of keeping a folder with copies of labels from each batch of seed or feed/minerals purchased so that you are ready for inspections.


PO Box Golspie, KW106AA
Email: Tel: 0300 772 9795

Scottish Organic Producers Association, Registered Office is c/o Drummond Laurie, Algo Business Centre, Glenearn Rd, Perth, PH2 8BX.
Scottish Organic Producers Association is a Co-operative registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, Registration Number SP02278R. Organic Certification GB-ORG-17