Welcome note October 2019

Dear readers,

Organic farmers use organic seeds when they grow organic plants. That seems common sense. But what if the farmer cannot buy organic seeds in his country or if the seeds available do not match his needs? With the LIVESEED project IFOAM EU, together with many partners, works on improving the awareness on the importance of using organic seeds and the importance of establishing a proper national system that stimulates production of organic seeds. The project also supports breeding varieties especially for organic farming conditions.  

The many national workshops organised throughout the LIVESEED project so far provided a great platform for stakeholders involved in organic to network and meet their national authorities. It allowed organic stakeholders to suggest solutions on how to move forward and to show that the organic movement also has the capacity to initiate change itself. Think about participatory breeding programmes but also practical tips to national authorities how to better communicate the available organic seeds.  

Are you interested in organic seeds and the LIVESEED project? Have a look at the LIVESEED overview report on existing organic breeding initiatives in the EU and beyond. It provides an extensive list of ongoing EU and national scale projects that are relevant for organic breeding. Further in this edition of the newsletter you will find a report of the 3rd LIVESEED cross-visit that focused on organic seed production of vegetable crops and potatoes.

The LIVESEED national workshops focussed on national policy, yet our work on the European level also continues on many topics, from organic heterogeneous seeds and the whole secondary legislation on the organic regulation, to the CAP reform and to ensuring that the work programme of the next Commission will contribute to the making Europe more organic. We are particularly encouraged by the promise of the Commissioner-Designate for Agriculture, Janus Wojciechowski, to present a new EU organic action plan. 

If you are interested in the innovative capabilities of the organic sector, have a look at the programme of the Organic Innovation Days. On 3-4 December the organic sector and policy-makers gather in Brussels to celebrate innovations and discuss future research needs. For even more inspiration, check out the Honest Food campaign. Launched by IFOAM – Organics International on World Food Day, this campaign will inspire citizens to make better food choices by highlighting the benefits of organic, local, seasonal and fair food on people and the planet.

Best regards,
Marian Blom
IFOAM EU Vice-President

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