|Date||October 18, 2022|
The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture- FiBL, IPS Konzalting and LIVESEEDING project partners from 16 European countries, gathered in Zagreb, Croatia for an Organic Seed Policy Conference on 18 October 2022 to discuss how to boost organic seeds and plant breeding, especially in Eastern and Southern Europe where the sector is still underdeveloped. While European legislation already requires the use of organic seeds in organic agriculture, the continued granting of derogations for non-organic seeds in the organic sector discourages entrepreneurship in organic seed. Horizon Europe will provide much-needed resources to leading sector organisations in LIVESEEDING to overcome the practice of derogations and make organic seeds a reality in Europe. Also for the first time, the new EU regulation has set a definition for “organic varieties” and recently published implementing directives as regards derogation for the release of organic plant varieties suitable for organic production Directive (EU) 2022/1647 and Directive (EU) 2022/1648.
“LIVESEEDING project comes at a critical moment, to help achieve the ambitious targets the European Union set for the organic seed sector in the Farm2Fork Strategy and EU organic regulation“
“To reach 100% organic seed use in organic farming by 2035 and 25% of EU land under organic management by 2030, we need a six-fold increase in the production of organic seeds in the next 10 years. Such a massive increase will only be possible by joining forces. LIVESEEDING project brings together leading organisations in the sector”Miguel De Porras, Director of FiBL Europe
“The Seed Policy Conference will provide an opportunity for different stakeholders to define together the roadmap to 100% organic seed in Croatia and learn from the experience of other European countries”
“We hope the conference will plant the seed of a fruitful collaboration between policymakers and organic seeds sector operators in Croatia.”Ana-Marija Špicnagel Ćurko, IPS Konzalting
As a follow-up to the conference, LIVESEEDING project partners stayed in Zagreb from 19 to 21 October for the project kick-off meeting. LIVESEEDING is a 6.6 million Euro 4-year innovation action co-funded by the European Union (Horizon Europe programme), Switzerland and the UK. The project aims to the growth of the organic sector by delivering high-quality seeds of a broad range of cultivars for a wide range of crops.
“LIVESEEDING’s primary ambition is to reach a quantum leap in the development of a strong and economically viable organic breeding and seed sector in Europe, through a multi-actor approach. It builds on the previous EU-funded project, LIVESEED, and will implement research findings into EU-wide practice”Monika Messmer, Senior plant breeding group leader at FiBL Switzerland and Scientific coordinator of LIVESEEDING, ahead of the project launch
Innovation will be cogenerated in 17 living labs involving the whole value chain, from breeding to consumers and citizens. Learning will be distilled in capacity building for national authorities to apply more coherently the new organic regulation (Reg. EU 2018/848) and policy dialogue with European policymakers to advance the Farm2Fork strategy.”Mariateresa Lazzaro