The FAIR PLAY campaign was launched in 2005 to tackle an estimated £2m gap in FSS payments by working to create a level playing-field in which all farmers contribute fairly for the benefits of using farm-saved seed.


Communication and improved collection are the two main components of the FAIR PLAY campaign.



Through the FAIR PLAY campaign, significant steps have been taken not only to ensure that farmers using farm-saved seed understand the legal requirement to declare and pay, but also to highlight the benefits of continued investment in the development of improved varieties:


  • Twice yearly Plant Breeding Matters newsletter providing information about the FAIR PLAY campaign and plant breeding advances;
  • FAIR PLAY communication via farming media, industry events, websites and social media;
  • Shorter, simpler declaration forms sent out to more farmers.

Improved collection


As the organisation responsible for collecting FSS payments, BSPB has committed significant resources to improve the efficiency of the FSS collection system, and to make the FSS declaration and payment process more straightforward for farmers:


  • Five ways to declare – post, e-mail, online, fax or phone;
  • Credit card payment online or by phone;
  • Investment in a bespoke FSS database tracking farmers’ seed and variety use:
  • Recruitment of additional staff to manage the FSS collection process.

FSS payment scheme details


Farm-saved seed payments were introduced into EU law in 1994 with the aim of striking a balance between farmers’ longstanding tradition of saving seed, and the contribution of modern plant breeding to the significant genetic gains enjoyed by growers.


The right of plant breeders to collect FSS payments was passed into UK law in 1998.


Subject to a payment on specific eligible varieties, farmers can legally sow farm-saved seed of the following combinable crops:




Oilseed Rape



Field Peas

Field Beans

Yellow Lupins

By law harvested grain can only be used as farm-saved seed when it has been produced on the farmer’s own holding. Farmers cannot purchase or otherwise transfer harvested grain from another business for planting. Hybrid varieties are excluded from the farm-saved seed exemption under EU law.


All use of farm-saved seed must be declared to BSPB.


Payment for the use of eligible varieties must be made to BSPB.

Two payment routes are available:


  • via NAAC or BSPB-registered seed processors at a tonnage rate:
  • direct to BSPB at a hectarage rate.


FSS payment rates are agreed annually between BSPB and the farming unions.


Details of eligible varieties and payment rates are published on the BSPB website.

© BSPB 2015 | The British Society of Plant Breeders Ltd. Registered in England No.876811. Registered Office BSPB House, 114 Lancaster Way Business Park, ELY CB6 3NX