International crops organisations

​​​​The Department manages Australia’s membership of the International Grains Council, The International Sugar Organisation and the International Cotton Advisory Committee.

These organisations aim to improve the global trading environment for grains, sugar and cotton, which are industries where Australia is heavily export oriented.

These organisations monitor, analyse and report on the impact on international trade of changes in policy measures affecting production and international trade and provide forums for discussions on issues affecting the growth of these industries as well as access to extensive statistical information.

Australia is also a member of the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Seeds Schemes.

The OECD Seeds Schemes prescribe common rules for certifying seed for movement in international trade and are designed to enable international purchasers of seed to be confident that the variety has been certified to a consistent and known standard.  The Schemes ensure the varietal identity and purity of the seed and authorise the use of labels and certificates for seed produced and processed for international trade according to agreed principles and controls.

OECD Seeds Schemes are complemented by the activities of ISTA which develops, adopts and publishes international rules and standard procedures for sampling and testing seed for germination and purity.  ISTA accredits seed laboratories and conducts a regular review and audit scheme to ensure its accredited laboratories are meeting its requirements. 

The Australian Seeds Authority is Australia's designated authority for ISTA and OECD Seeds Schemes under a licence agreement with the Department.

More details on these organisations can be found at:

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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