Organic Agriculture

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 101–111 | Cite as

Adapting Value for Cultivation and Use testing to stimulate the release of improved varieties for the organic sector. The case of spring wheat in The Netherlands

  • A. M. OsmanEmail author
  • H. Bonthuis
  • L. Van den Brink
  • P. C. Struik
  • C. J. M. Almekinders
  • E. T. Lammerts van Bueren


Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU), the mandatory variety testing system for agricultural crops in the European Union (EU), has been used as a policy instrument by favouring the release of variety types that enable socially desirable developments, such as reducing fungicide use. With this paper, we aim to assess whether VCU can be used to enhance the availability of varieties suitable to organic farming. Therefore, we analyse data of an organic spring wheat VCU project that was conducted between 2001 and 2004 at three locations in the Netherlands. Varieties selected through organic VCU were clearly more suitable for organic production than those registered through the conventional procedure. However, new varieties could not match the baking quality of the organic standard variety. We conclude that enhancing the number of suitable varieties for the organic sector requires adapting both conventional breeding programmes as well as the VCU system.


Variety testing Value for Cultivation and Use EU seed legislation Spring wheat Organic production 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Osman
    • 1
    Email author
  • H. Bonthuis
    • 2
  • L. Van den Brink
    • 3
  • P. C. Struik
    • 4
  • C. J. M. Almekinders
    • 5
  • E. T. Lammerts van Bueren
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Louis Bolk InstituteDriebergenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.NaktuinbouwWageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Applied Plant Research LelystadWageningen University and Research CentreLelystadThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Centre for Crop Systems AnalysisWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Knowledge, Technology and Innovation GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Wageningen UR Plant BreedingWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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