NIAB's overriding objective is the promotion of agriculture, horticulture and arboriculture anywhere in the world by such charitable means as shall be thought fit.
This objective is met by the provision of services, training and the carrying out of research and as an independent, not for profit organisation, NIAB directs any surplus generated from activities towards achievement of its charitable aims.
- The improvement of crops by means of testing of varieties, plants and seeds and through research so long as the useful results of such research are disseminated to the public;
- The carrying out of trials for the identification and classification of plant varieties and assessment of their performance, the multiplication of stocks of seed and the maintenance of reference collections;
- The testing of seeds, plants and plant-derived or related materials;
- Research into and the testing of seeds and the authentication and certification of reproductive material of plant varieties provided that the useful results of such research are disseminated to the public;
- The discovery and assessment of the value of methods of treatment, processes and designs relating to seeds, plants and crops and of benefit to agriculture, horticulture, arboriculture, the seed industry or any related trade or industry;
- The provision of training for those engaged, or desiring to become engaged, in the work of the Institute or related activities or occupations; and
- The dissemination of the information relating to the work of the Institute. Including the giving of advice on any matter relating thereto to the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (now Defra) and any other public authority.