Policy Seminar: A future for diversity in the seed legislation reform

An organic and diversity perspective on the review of the EU legislation on the marketing of seed and plant propagating material
(followed by an evening reception)

Date and time: 27 November 2013, 16:30-21:00
Venue: Representation of Lower Saxony, Rue Montoyer 61, B-1000 Brussels
Organisers: IFOAM EU & Lower Saxony Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection

Organic farming relies on the availability of a broad range of plant genetics in order to respond to consumer demand and to different geographic conditions. Taking this into account together with pressing environmental challenges such as resource depletion and climate change, it is essential to preserve the plant genetic resources in use, as well as to develop, multiply and market new varieties that are adapted to low input and local conditions.

The current legislation puts disproportionate burden on producers of seed and plant propagating material who work with a focus on organic farming and agro-biodiversity. It does not recognise the contribution of small breeders, farmers and seed savers to the development of genetic resources. The current revision of this legislation following the Commission proposal of 6 May (COM(2013) 262) can be an opportunity to reach improvements. This seminar will present and discuss strategies to come to a seed law that encourages active preservation, use and development of plant genetic resources.

IFOAM EU position paper on seed: "Towards more crop diversity"

Draft Programme

TimeSpeakers and Topics
16:30Registration, refreshments
17:00Opening
Michael Freericks, Head of the Representation of the State of Lower-Saxony and
Marco Schlüter, IFOAM EU Director
17:10Presentations
 Dr. Cord Stoyke, Lower Saxony Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
Ensuring agro-biodiversity and consumer protection in the seed legislation
Päivi Mannerkorpi, European Commission
The legislative proposal on plant reproductive material
Monika Messmer, IFOAM EU seed expert and President of ECOPB (European organic plant breeders)
Breeding for the organic sector: needs and legislative challenges
Sergio Silvestris, Rapporteur for the European Parliament on the seed legislation (tbc)
The European Parliament's response to the seed legislation proposal
18:15Panel discussion:
The way forward for agro-biodiversity - core changes needed to the Commission proposal
 Additional panel participants
Gebhard Rossmanith, Bingenheimer Saatgut and IFOAM EU seed task force
Thor Gunnar Kofoed, COPA-COGECA Seed Growers Group Chairman
Guy Kastler, European Coordination Via Campesina
Karin Kadenbach, S&D Group shadow rapporteur for the seed legislation
Martin Häusling, Greens/EFA Group shadow rapporteur for the seed legislation
Moderation: Antje Kölling, IFOAM EU
19:45Conclusions
Marco Schlüter, IFOAM EU Director
20:00Networking reception with snacks and drinks
  

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