Daily organisation

The Netherlands Inspection Service for Horticulture is called Naktuinbouw.

Why Naktuinbouw?

Each company that intends to market and trade propagating material in the Netherlands must register with an inspection service. There are four inspection services for plants in the Netherlands. Three for propagating material (seeds and planting materials): Naktuinbouw for propagating material for floricultural, arboricultural and vegetable crops, the Flower Bulb Inspection Service (BKD) for flower bulbs and the Dutch General Inspection Service (NAK) for agricultural crops such as potatoes, cereal crops and grasses. There is also an inspection service for so-called end products such as fresh fruit and vegetables traded in supermarkets and green grocers: the Quality Control Bureau (KCB).

The NVWA monitors the health and quality of all food and consumer products in the Netherlands. As an independent agency within the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) controls compliance with protocols (regulations) and tests.

What are Naktuinbouw's tasks?

In the legislative inspection system, the prescribed European directives and legislation for propagating material for floricultural, arboricultural and vegetable crops apply. These directives are anchored in Dutch legislation in the form of the Netherlands Seeds and Planting Material Act. We operate as an independent and unbiased party.

Naktuinbouw is the only organisation in the Netherlands appointed by the government to assess varieties of floricultural, arboricultural and vegetable crops for distinctness, uniformity and stability (DUS testing) for registration purposes and/or granting Plant Breeders' Rights (via the Board for Plant Varieties).

Naktuinbouw also has various voluntary quality inspections. These systems complement the statutory inspections or place more stringent demands than the legislative directives. One of the areas in which this applies is, for instance, determining the health quality of propagating material and testing for varietal identity and varietal purity. The participants are generally producers of propagating material. Naktuinbouw also focuses on promoting quality. The activities take place at national and international companies from the entire horticultural chain.

Read more about our activities in Naktuinbouw Corporate flyer-Quality in Horticulture.

What is the organisational structure at Naktuinbouw?

Naktuinbouw has three large departments that are structured to perform the activities in the sector:  Inspections, Laboratories and Variety Testing. There is also a Finance & Facilities department that is responsible for financial administration, IT and front office duties. The tasks of the Knowledge & HRM department include the Training Courses in which we share our knowledge with the sector and also  HR, communication and quality assurance.

Naktuinbouw as a centre of expertise

Naktuinbouw does much more than perform inspections, laboratory testing and variety testing. Naktuinbouw is also a centre of expertise. The specialists at Naktuinbouw share their knowledge and expertise with public-sector organisations and the commercial sector. They provide information and organise training courses and workshops on a variety of subjects that are related to everyday practice.

Many people visit Naktuinbouw to see what these specialists do and to learn from their expertise. Visitors come from home and abroad. Primary and secondary school pupils, and students from universities of applied science and universities also visit us in large numbers.

Naktuinbouw also participates in international projects by supporting countries and colleague organisations that want to improve their inspection services, start up laboratories for testing or implement a system of Plant Breeders’ Rights.

Who uses the services of Naktuinbouw?

The companies registered with Naktuinbouw are plant breeders, plant propagators and plant growers, tree nurseries and companies that trade in propagating material

We comply with international standards

The methods used by Naktuinbouw comply with international standards. We have been granted accreditation from organisations that include the Dutch Accreditation Council, the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) and CPVO.

The history of Naktuinbouw

Naktuinbouw was created in 2000 following a merger between the Netherlands General Inspection Service for Arboricultural Crops (NAKB), the Netherlands General Inspection Service for Floricultural Crops (NAKS) and the Netherlands General Inspection Service for Vegetable and Flower Seeds (NAKG). NAKB focussed on arboricultural crops, NAKS on ornamental crops and NAKG on vegetable crops. As a single organisation, the focus of Naktuinbouw is now on inspecting propagating material used for floricultural, vegetable and arboricultural crops.
Read the book Naktuinbouw Dedicated to quality (2009).

Naktuinbouw 80 years (2021):

History of the inspection services

The foundations for the inspection services were laid in the late nineteenth century by growers wanting to guarantee the quality of propagating material and seed to increase yields. In 1861, an association was founded in Boskoop, originally for fruit crops and later for ornamental crops too. The first field inspection in the agricultural sector took place in 1888. In 1895, an inspection committee was established for trees. In 1932, the Netherlands General Inspection Service for Agricultural Seeds and Seed Potatoes (NAK) was established. This inspection service performed the inspections of agricultural seed. 1941 saw the foundation of the Netherlands General Inspection Service for Vegetable and Flower Seeds (NAKG). This was followed in 1943 by the Netherlands General Inspection Service for Arboricultural Crops (NAKB) and in 1947 by the Netherlands General Inspection Service for Floricultural Crops (NAKS).

Three Departments

Learn more about the three department within Naktuinbouw.

Variety Testing (Plant Breeders' Rights):

Flyer Glossary of terms Plant Breeders' Rights and patent law
Flyer Frequently Asked Questions Plant Breeders' Rights and patent law

Plant Breeders' Rights in Spanish:


Flyer Inspections


Flyer Laboratories

Laboratories Testing Techniques:

More videos about Naktuinbouw