|ISTA is an independent organisation supported by the non-profit cooperation of experienced seed scientists and analysts. An authority in seed science and technology, we have been developing seed testing methods since 1924.
‘Uniformity in seed quality evaluation worldwide’
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ISTA members work together to achieve their vision of 'Uniformity in seed quality evaluation worldwide'. Our Association produces internationally agreed rules for seed sampling and testing, accredits laboratories, promotes research, provides international seed analysis certificates and training, and disseminates knowledge in seed science and technology. This facilitates seed trading nationally and internationally, and also contributes to food security.
We further these objectives through participation in conferences, strengthening links to other organisations with seed interests, such as ISF (International Seed Federation), OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants) and many others.
- To develop, adopt and publish internationally agreed standard procedures (Rules) for sampling and testing seeds.
- To promote uniform application of standard procedures for evaluation of seeds involved in international trade.
- To award accreditation to laboratories.
- To actively promote research and dissemination of knowledge in seed science and technology, for the sampling, testing, storing, processing and distribution of seeds.
- To provide international seed analysis certificates and training courses.
- To encourage variety (cultivar) certification.
Who we are
The International Seed Testing Association was founded in 1924 during the 4th International Seed Testing Congress held in Cambridge, UK. Our membership consists of Member Laboratories and sampling entities, Personal Members, Associate Members and Industry Members, from 80 countries/distinct economies. More than 130 of the Member Laboratories are accredited by ISTA and entitled to issue ISTA Certificates. The membership is a diverse collaboration of seed scientists and analysts from universities, research centres and seed testing laboratories around the world.ISTA acts free from economic interest and political influence, and is unbiased, objective and fair. Our expertise is based on non-profit cooperation from an international community of over 400 competent and energetic seed scientists and analysts. ISTA work in developing standard seed testing methods, facilitates the trade of quality seeds and makes a valuable contribution to food security.
What we offer
- Publication of the ISTA International Rules for Seed Testing – globally available and annually updated, harmonised, uniform seed testing methods
- ISTA Accreditation Programme, including Accreditation Standard, Proficiency Testing and Auditing Programme, guaranteeing worldwide, harmonised, uniform seed testing.
- An issue of ISTA Certificates for seed analysis certificates by independent ISTA-accredited laboratories.
- Global platform for research, professional development, training, publishing and information dissemination, established to promote education and experience in all areas of seed science and technology.
ISTA is managed and directed by an Executive Committee, comprising a President, Vice-President and nine Members-at-Large. All Executive Committee members are Designated Members of ISTA. The ISTA Secretariat, based in Switzerland, manages the finances and administration of the Association. This is led by the Secretary General and supported by eight members of staff.
ISTA subject-focused Technical Committees are responsible for the development of new methodology for seed testing. Each of the Committees is led by a Chair and Vice-Chair; many ISTA members are active in more than one Committee.