Who is SANSOR?


We unlock potential in agriculture

Over the past 100 years, the South African Seed Industry has evolved from a major contributor of seed production into a highly competitive dynamic industry driven by meeting the demands of people, the planet and profit.

In 1989, the South African National Seed Organization (SANSOR) was established to provide role players in the local seed industry with a formal and strategic body to protect and further the interests of the seed trade.

Today, 30 years later, we are proud of the role we have played and are continuing to play in the global seed industry, specifically with regard to the following functions:

Seed Certification

Since 1989 SANSOR has been the national designated authority to manage and execute all functions pertaining to seed certification on behalf of government.

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Seed certification has almost doubled over the past five years. We achieve our government mandate by means of a core administrative staff and the use of more than 160 private seed inspectors who are trained, certified and authorised to conduct specific functions. Presently, SANSOR is responsible for certification of seed crops produced on more than 60 000 hectares. The SANSOR seed certification model is globally recognised.

Seed Legislation

SANSOR continues to be active in assisting government on amending seed legislation such as the Plant Improvement Act and Plant Breeders’ Rights Act.

Phytosanitary Support


Seed certification ensures that only high-quality seed is supplied to farmers and other growers in South Africa and worldwide. SANSOR is the National Designated Authority to control and verify that seed was produced, inspected and graded in accordance with the requirements of the National and various International Seed Certification Schemes.

Training


We devote considerable attention to training seed trade personnel through courses and workshops, with specific emphasis on training for seed inspectors and seed samplers.

Liaison


The SANSOR office handles international enquiries and extends its active liaison through full membership of the International Seed Federation (ISF) and the African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA). SANSOR is also very active in the OECD and AOCSA, as well as ISTA.

Our History


  • 1940s

    The South African Seedsmen’s Association forms the first seed industry grouping.

  • 1950s

    Seed quality control is formalised with the establishment of the first company laboratories for seed testing.

  • 1960s

    The introduction of seed legislation to South Africa and subsequent reorganisation leads to the establishment of the South African Plant Breeders’ Association, South African Hybrid Maize Organization, South African Vegetable Growers Association and South African Forage Crop Seed Association.

  • 1970s

    Negotiations start among the respective crop-specific seed associations, eventually leading to the establishment of the umbrella association, Association of National Seed Organizations (ANSO). Privatisation during this time further led to the establishment of the Association of South African Seed Analysts (ASASA).

  • 1980s

    The rationalisation of seed certification by the South African government was one of the spearheading factors for the establishment of the South African National Seed Organization. This led to the establishment of SANSOR in 1989, gradually incorporating almost all noteworthy role players in the seed industry.

  • 1990s

    Political transformation and government strategy in South Africa initiated further restructuring of the seed industry, in particular as a result of the deregulation of agricultural marketing, with the subsequent declaration of small grain crops as seed in terms of the Plant Improvement Act (Act No. 53 of 1976) and the introduction of small grain seed certification schemes.

  • 2000s

    SANSOR becomes a globally recognised seed industry organisation, when we host the International World Seed Congress in 2001 – bringing the world together to facilitate seed trade.

Services to members


SANSOR’s purpose is to represent the seed industry both locally and internationally, as well as protecting and furthering the interests of the seed trade to the benefit of its members. This mission supports our vision to establish SANSOR as the leading authority for the provision of industry-related, strategic services to the South African seed industry.

Services to members


SANSOR’s purpose is to represent the seed industry both locally and internationally, as well as protecting and furthering the interests of the seed trade to the benefit of its members. This mission supports our vision to establish SANSOR as the leading authority for the provision of industry-related, strategic services to the South African seed industry.

  • SANSOR is the National Designated Authority for seed certification in South Africa.
  • Support on all phytosanitary related matters.
  • Access to skills through capacity development programmes.
  • Support on all seed trade barrier issues.
  • Remuneration surveys for members.
  • Facilitated training to ensure international and national compliance.
  • Help to understand your market through efficient stats collection systems.
  • We keep you informed to trade locally and globally.
  • Industry promotion through publications, representation and international presence.
  • We talk to government about regulatory and other trade issues on your behalf.
  • Membership of international trade associations.
  • Facilitation of free and fair participation in the international seed trade.
  • Constantly finding ways and means to improve the free movement of seed across borders, while at the same time limiting and mitigating disease risk.
  • Market access issues or limitations concerning export and import of seed.
  • We are proactively involved in industry related research.