Gütegemeinschaft Substrate für Pflanzen e.V. (GGS) is one of more than 130 quality assurance associations organized under the roof of the RAL Deutsches Institut für Gütesicherung und Kennzeichnung e.V. (German Institute for Quality Assurance and Certification). The German public is familiar with RAL quality marks from many areas of modern life. RAL quality marks stand for neutrally inspected high-quality products. Our expertise is also based on more than 30 years of experience in quality assurance and approximately 60 active members. Gütegemeinschaft Substrate für Pflanzen e.V. is an association of producers and services providers that have a special awareness of quality assurance. We also work closely with scientists and people with practical business experience.

Company details

Heisterbergallee 12 , Hannover , D-30453 Germany

Locations Served

Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Market Focus:
Internationally (various countries)

Guidance and protection

The RAL quality mark provides guidance and helps to avoid making poor purchases that are costly. Our task is to process and monitor the implementation of the RAL Quality Assurance for bark, growing media, potting soils, growing media constituents, expanded clay for use as a growing medium, substrates for green roofs and substrates for tree planting. In other words, the award of the RAL quality mark certifies the quality of these items.


One of the key duties of Gütegemeinschaft Substrate für Pflanzen e.V. is to pursue a sound information policy vis-à-vis members and consumers as regards quality assurance and the application of the products in question.

Bodies of expert members

At the core of the association’s quality work are the quality commissions of Gütegemeinschaft für Pflanzen e.V. that are organised in three divisions. These bodies are made up of independent scientists and producers’ representatives. They draw up quality criteria and methods of quality assurance and monitor the awarding of quality marks and compliance with the quality parameters. The commission members’ different backgrounds guarantee independence and close liaison between scientists, researchers, and practical producers.

RAL-certified growing media for your crops

Growing media are a mixture of a large variety of substrate constituents, such as peat, clay, bark humus, wood fibre, substrate compost and numerous other mineral and organic elements. Horticulturists today normally use standardised substrates from industrial production. They place very high requirements on the substrates they use. Here’s why:

  • In commercial horticulture or landscaping, plants usually have a small root zone.
  • Substrates must accommodate the most diverse of growing methods.
  • Highly specialised young plant production relies on high plant vitality.
  • The substrates must ensure fast plant growth.

These requirements call for uniform, all-season high-quality substrates.

RAL Quality Assurance guarantees just that. It stipulates that quality control already starts when purchasing feedstock. To this end, substrate producers must inspect their constituents and additives for compliance with defined parameters and document the results. Gütegemeinschaft Substrate für Pflanzen e.V. (GGS) monitors the producers’ compliance with this requirement. In an additional step, the mixed growing media are inspected both internally by the production facility and externally by GGS.

As growers develop their own methods of crop management, they increasingly require customised substrate mixes. Substrate producers are definitely geared up to suit these requirements. And since RAL Quality Assurance applies to all types of growing media produced at a specific facility, the concept also covers these special-purpose mixes.

How you stand to benefit

Always ask for the RAL quality mark when buying either customised or standard growing media. The quality mark guarantees that the product meets the approved criteria and ensures maximum product reliability.