We need defined minimum standards for derogation reports & harmonized data collection says LIVESEED analysis

The LIVESEED project analysed political obstacles to the implementation of the Rules on Organic Seed. The report calls for the definition of minimum standards for derogation reports across the EU. It also highlights the need for an ongoing and harmonized data collection on the use and on the production of organic seed as well as on organic production area. Read the report for a detailed analysis of the different types of bottlenecks and recommendations on the LIVESEED website.

The LIVESEED project also published an overview report on existing organic breeding initiatives in the EU and beyond, and an extensive list of ongoing EU and national scale projects that are relevant for organic breeding. The overview of breeding initiatives shows that organic plant breeding activities are carried out by commercial breeding enterprises, social and medium enterprises (SMEs), non-profits, universities and public institutions. Next to breeding, these initiatives are frequently involved in variety testing under organic conditions, pre-breeding, research on organic breeding and education. The initiatives cover a wide range of crops with a strong focus on cereals, grain legumes and vegetables.

In stakeholder workshops in Witzenhauzen (2018) and Nurenberg (2019) stakeholders discussed new concepts and strategies for organic plant breeding and their integration in value chains. Organic plant breeding requires innovative breeding concepts and approaches dealing with technical breeding aspects and broader sustainability aspects – including socio-economic, environmental, climatic and ethical factors. To deal with so many different aspects simultaneously is difficult. The systems-breeding approach proposes an integration of four paradigms that currently co-exist: community-based breeding, ecosystem-based breeding, trait-based breeding, and corporate-based breeding. Stakeholders along the value chain discussed the potential roles of these approaches and their involvement in organic plant breeding. They also covered the advantages of bringing breeding to farmers, processors and traders and to society in general.

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