Dr Vicky Foster
Prof Mark Stevens
Dr Simon Bowen
Colin Peters (NIAB) and Samantha Brooke (BSPB)
The day to day management of trials is carried by the contractors who have successfully tendered for the various work packages. Each contractor is represented on the Trials Technical Group (TTG), which reports to the Board. The TTG is responsible for ensuring that the procedures are reviewed each year and that any changes endorsed by the Board.
APHA are responsible for the National Listing of new varieties. This is a legal requirement for all main crops and ensures that a variety is genuinely new and an improvement. New varieties must be distinct, uniform and stable (DUS) and, for agricultural crops, provide satisfactory value for cultivation and use (VCU).
The NL is carried out separately to the RL trials. BSPB has the contract for the work, which is funded by the breeders. Results of the harvested NL trials are used along with the RL results to produce the RL.
The Crop Committee meet each December to consider new candidate varieties for elevation to the RL / DL and to determine whether any existing candidates should be considered for removal. The Crop Committee works to a strict set of procedures and guidelines. Breeders have the opportunity to appeal decisions that they feel were made without following such procedures and guidelines. The Appeal Committee considers such applications.
The Crop Committee consists of members of the RL Board plus other independent farmers and industry experts and a BSPB observer. NIAB provide technical advice on the RL data. Prior to the meeting an Expert Panel receives and validates evidence from breeders regarding other traits and attributes that the breeders wish to present to the Crop Committee.
The Crop Committee is chaired by the independent chairman of the RL Board. The Appeal Committee, if required, is separate from the Crop Committee but its members are well-versed in the rules and operations of the Crop Committee.