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Seed Policy Conference – “Pathways to create a level playing field in the organic seed sector in the EU”

Jun 5, 2023

Online Seed Policy Confernce “Pathways to create a level playing field in the organic seed sector in the EU” took place on 25 January 2023. The conference was addressed to all stakeholders in the organic seed and breeding sector and in total, more than 150 participants registered to the online conference. The aim of the conference was to raise awareness on policy measures to increase a level playing field in the organic seed sector in Europe. A level playing field is associated with a fair and transparent organic seed market.

The conference was split into three focus points:

  • importance of organic seed expert groups,
  • increase transparency in the organic seed supply chain and
  • develop national roadmaps towards 100 % organic seed by 2036.

Paolo Valdarchi (CREA-DC, IT) and Maaike Raaijmakers (Bionext, NL) presented their experiences with organic seed expert groups in Italy and the Netherlands, respectively. Kaja Gutzen (FiBL, DE) presented how the European router database for organic seed and plant propagating material and its interface to the national seed database organicXseeds can provide more transparency on the market. Julien Taverne (INAO, FR) presented the decision-making process on how species or subspecies can be categorised according to the availability of organic material.

It is particularly interesting that in France a warning category has been introduced, which includes species that will soon be classified as Category I, i.e., for which the use of organic material is obligatory.

Martin Sommer (IFOAM OE) & Freya Schäfer (FiBL-DE) concluded the conference by presenting the importance of national roadmaps for achieving 100 % organic seed use and explaining how these can be drawn up.

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