Western Australian Certified Seed Potato Scheme: an international comparison

Page last updated: Wednesday, 23 October 2019 - 8:48am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Seed potato schemes do not have a standardised system for naming their field grown generations which makes it difficult to compare schemes. Potato seed schemes from Western Australia, the Netherlands, Scotland and Canada are compared to allow equivalent field generations to be identified.

This will allow potential buyers to identify like-for-like from other seed schemes. The disease and disorder tolerances for field and tuber inspections for each scheme are also provided.

Equivalent field generations

The number of field generations used to produce the final product of the seed schemes from the Netherlands, Canada, Scotland and Western Australia varies and are shown in Table 1.

The final fifth generation of Western Australian certified seed is produced at least two years earlier than the end product of seed schemes from Canada and the Netherlands and three years earlier than the Scottish scheme.

The Netherlands seed scheme end product is Class C certified seed, which is produced at generation seven (G7), two field generations later than Western Australia’s end product of G5 certified seed.

Western Australian G5 certified seed is equivalent to the Netherlands Class E seed. The Netherlands has an alternative pathway for production of seed potatoes where Class SE seed is produced prior to Class E. This means that potato seed from the Netherlands may be three field generations later than Western Australian G5 certified seed.

The Canadian scheme’s end product is generation 7 certified seed; two field generations older than Western Australia’s seed scheme final product. Western Australian G5 certified seed is equivalent to the Elite 4 seed in the Canadian seed scheme.

The Scottish scheme produces Basic E seed at generation 7 which is used to produce generation 8 ‘Certified Seed’ outside Scotland.  That is, three generations after Western Australian G5 certified seed. Western Australian G5 certified seed is equivalent to Basic S seed in the Scottish seed scheme.

Table 1 Field generations of various international seed potato schemes


Seed scheme


Western Australia 2015

Netherlands* 2005

Scotland 2017

Canada 2017



Mother plant/tissue culture

Pre-basic tissue culture

Nuclear seed


G1 certified seed

1st year clone

Pre-basic 1

G1 pre-elite


G2 certified seed

2nd year clone

Pre-basic 2

G2 elite 1


G3 certified seed

3rd year clone: Class S pre-basic seed

Pre-basic 3

G3 elite 2


G4 certified seed

Class SE basic seed

Pre-basic 4

G4 elite 3


G5 certified seed

Class E basic seed

Basic S

G5 elite 4


Class A certified seed

Basic SE

G6 foundation


Class C certified seed

Basic E

G7 certified seed


Certified seed,
grown outside Scotland

* Fast-track multiplication. An alternative multiplication can be used which takes an additional year.



Western Australian G5 certified seed is equivalent to:

  • Class SE or Class E (the Netherlands, depending upon multiplication pathway used), or

  • Basic S (Scotland), or

  • Elite 4 (Canada).


Peter Dawson
Rachel Lancaster