Accreditation

RIAWA has represented the native seed industry in WA for over 14 years.  Over this time RIAWA had been approached by several mining companies and state government departments to develop an appropriate system for accrediting native plant seed that is bought and sold in WA, as no such system previously existed.  The RIAWA committee has taken these requests on board.  After extensive stakeholder and industry consultation over a five year period the RIAWA committee has developed the RIAWA Native Seed Accreditation System.  The primary aim of the system is to raise the quality assurance and sustainability of seed collection and supply in Western Australia.

The backbone of the Native Seed Accreditation System are the RIAWA Seed Standards (please click here) which have been developed from the Florabank Guidelines.  The standards establish appropriate practices regarding seed harvesting, processing, storage, marketing and supply, payment of contractors and staff, seed orcharding, and collector training.  Most experienced seed collectors and suppliers would already be aware and following most of these practices, and would need minimal adjustment of their practices to align their current practices with those of the RIAWA standards.

The RIAWA Seed Accreditation Guidelines (please click here) explain how the accreditation system is managed.  Accredited collectors and suppliers must be members of the association and thereby commit to the RIAWA Code of Practice.  Costs are kept to a minimum to encourage participation in the scheme and not be a deterrent or barrier for entry for smaller collectors.

Main Advantages for Buyers
  • Confidence that the seed being purchased has been collected sustainably and is of specified quality
  • ability to compare “apples with apples” in terms of prices and quality offered from different suppliers
  • access to a list of accredited seed suppliers and collectors on the RIAWA website.
Main Advantages for Collectors / Suppliers
  • Industry recognition of quality to help differentiate your products and services
  • ability to differentiate product quality by seed grade
  • promoted on the list of accredited seed suppliers and collectors on the RIAWA website.

 

Seed Accreditation Register

Please click on the following link for the current register of RIAWA Accredited Seed Suppliers and Collectors:

ACCREDITATION REGISTER

 

Applications

To apply for Seed Accreditation you must first be a member of RIAWA.  For Corporate Accreditation you need to have Corporate Membership and for Individual Accreditation you need Individual Membership (unless you are an individual applying under Corporate Membership/Accreditation).

Please read the documents below: “RIAWA Seed Standards” and “RIAWA Accreditation Guidelines” before completing the appropriate application form: “RIAWA Seed Accreditation Corporate Application” or “Collector Application” and then forwarding it to Administration at:

enquiries@riawa.com.au

PO Box 1333

Midland WA 6936

To pay online please go to:

ACCREDITATION PAYMENTS

 

Documents

Seed Accreditation documentation available for download as Word file or PDF

01-RIAWA Seed Standards 150520.pdf

02-RIAWA Accreditation Guidelines 151124.pdf

03-RIAWA Seed Accreditation Corporate Application 170527.docx

03-RIAWA Seed Accreditation Corporate Application 170527.pdf

03A-RIAWA Seed Accreditation Collector Application 170527.docx

03A-RIAWA Seed Accreditation Collector Application 170527.pdf

03B-RIAWA Seed Accreditation Renewal 160712.docx

03B-RIAWA Seed Accreditation Renewal 160712.pdf

04-Aims of Accreditation 150526.pdf

05-RIAWA Accreditation Min. Labelling Standard 150520.pdf

06-RIAWA Accreditation Complaints Form 140618.docx

06-RIAWA Accreditation Complaints Form 140618.pdf

 

FAQs
Q: Will seed cost more under the accreditation system?

A: 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.

 

Q: Does accreditation mean that I have to provide a viability test with every batch of accredited seed that I supply?

A: No.  Only two grades of seed supply: Conservation Grade, and A Grade (Commercial Plus) require viability tests to be reported at point of sale.  B Grade (Standard Commercial) and C Grade (Seeding Grade) seed, which are the grades at which most sales will occur, do not require viability testing.

 

Q: Is the system audited?

A: 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.

 

Q: How can collectors and suppliers apply to become accredited?

A: 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).

 

Q: If I am an accredited seed supplier, do all of my collectors need to be accredited?

A: 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.

 

Q: What happens if a seed buyer raises an issue about an accredited seed buyer or collector?

A: 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.

 

Q: What are the costs associated with becoming accredited?

A: The table below shows the applicable costs:

Type Accreditation Application/ Renewal Fee RIAWA Membership

(if not already a member)

Total
Corporate / Trader $100 $200 $300
Individual Collector $50 $100 $150

 

Q: What happens when an accredited collector leaves an accredited supplier?

A: 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.