What are the costs associated with becoming accredited?
The table below shows the applicable costs:
|Type||Accreditation Application/ Renewal Fee||RIAWA Membership
(if not already a member)
|Corporate / Trader||$100||$200||$300|
Note that there are no additional fees to register individual collectors under a corporate accreditation - unlimited individual collectors are included in the fee.
Will seed cost more under the accreditation system?
Most well-known seed suppliers and collectors would already be collecting and supplying seed in line with B grade (standard commercial) seed as per the RIAWA seed standards. As the costs of accreditation are kept low, there is not expected to be any material change to seed supply pricing for B grade seed, except for those collectors whose practices do not currently meet the standards.
Some species are currently supplied commonly at the C grade (direct seeding) standard as they contain a lot of chaff or can be difficult to process. Therefore if B grade seed is required this could lead to an increase in unit pricing, although this would also see an increase in seed purity requiring less seed to be purchased, and potentially representing better value for money.
A grade seed (commercial plus) requires a filled seeds per gram count, and this would therefore require additional testing and incur additional costs. However, it will provide greater certainty as to the quality of individual seed lots.
As there is currently no industry standard for the grading of various species, RIAWA will be seeking to define minimum purity levels for the various grades in the near future.
Does accreditation mean that I have to provide a viability test with every batch of accredited seed that I supply?
No. Only two grades of seed supply: Conservation Grade, and A+ Grade (Commercial Plus) require viability tests to be reported at point of sale. A (Standard Commercial), B (Minimum Commercial), and C Grade (Seeding Grade) seed, which are the grades at which most sales will occur, do not require viability testing.
Is the system audited?
The system is being rolled out in two phases. In the current phase, Phase 1, the audit is limited to photographic evidence and phone interviews. Phase 2 will be implemented when there is sufficient adoption by industry of the accreditation system to fund an independent auditor to conduct in-person initial assessments, and periodic audits of accredited suppliers.
How can collectors and suppliers apply to become accredited?
There are separate application forms for collectors and suppliers/traders. Each form contains specific questions to determine the applicant’s ability and knowledge in collecting and/or supplying native seeds. Photographic evidence is sometimes requested to give evidence to support answers (e.g. photograph of a microscope). Anyone applying for accreditation will need to have completed the RIAWA Seed Accreditation - Online Training Module.
If I am an accredited seed supplier, do all of my collectors need to be accredited?
No, however, you can only promote and sell seed as RIAWA accredited if it has been collected according to the standards (i.e. by accredited collected). If seed has been collected outside of the standards it should be identified as non-accredited to prospective purchasers.
What happens if a seed buyer raises an issue about an accredited seed buyer or collector?
If an issue is reported to the committee there may be an in-person investigation. If it is determined that there has a breach of the standards then the supplier or collector’s accreditation may be suspended until they can demonstrate that the issue has been resolved and should not occur again. If the collector or supplier does not resolve the issue, rescinding accreditation is a possibility.
What happens when an accredited collector leaves an accredited supplier?
The accredited collector should inform RIAWA that they no longer work for that supplier and their current status (e.g. working for a new supplier or freelance). RIAWA will then update their records accordingly.