Organic-certificate und Open Source Seeds Licence

What is the Open Source Seed (OSS) license?

Plant variety protection on commercial seeds is an integral part of the seed market and patent protection is on the rise. In addition, the secrecy of parental lines in hybrid varieties restricts free access. Open source has become an answer to the growing privatization of common goods, the so-called commons. Now a working group – consisting of plant breeders, agronomists and lawyers – has found a way to use this open-source principle for the legal protection of the seeds of our crops. The open-source seed license allows the unrestricted use of seeds and at the same time prevents their privatization. The license is also viral, i.e. all further developments of the licensed seeds are also covered by it.

Who awards the OSS license?

The license is not issued, but can be used by anyone. However, to ensure that the licensed varieties are subject to effective protection, the service provider OpenSourceSeeds has taken on the task of managing the varieties. Further information on the OSS license and the service provider Open-SourceSeeds can be found on their homepage:

Why does Culinaris – Saatgut für Lebensmittel use the OSS license?

Humans have been working on the development of cultivated plants at least since they became sedentary. This has resulted in a huge abundance of varieties and populations of different species over thousands of years. For the longest time, this diversity of cultivated plants was freely available to all people. We at Culinaris – Saatgut für Lebensmittel use these plant genetic resources. We make good varieties directly available or use them for the development of new varieties (new breeding). Since we use this free access, we take it for granted that our further developments are also freely available to everyone. To ensure this free access, we use the OSS license. For us, seed is a cultural asset and must be preserved as such for humanity! How can an economically oriented company with such a philosophy survive on the market? In our actions, we rely on cooperation rather than competition. So we talk to our trading partners on an equal footing and ensure prices that promise economic success for both sides. At the same time, we always keep end consumers and seed producers firmly in mind and ensure that money is available for conservation breeding and variety development.

How do you recognize OSS licensed varieties and what do you need to consider when purchasing them?

Varieties licensed with the OSSL can be recognized by the logo.
You may only purchase these varieties if you agree to the following license agreement:
Short form of the Open Source Seed License: Seeds with equal rights and obligations for all.
By purchasing the seeds or by opening the packaging of these seeds, you accept the provisions of a free license agreement by way of a contract. In particular, you undertake not to restrict the use of this seed and its further developments, e.g. by claiming plant variety rights or patent rights to seed components. At the same time, you may only pass on the seeds and propagations obtained from them to third parties under the conditions of this license. The exact license terms can be found at If you do not wish to accept these provisions, you must refrain from purchasing and using these seeds.

Weitere Bio-Zertifikate