Friday, February 25, 2011

Organic Seed Alliance Releases “State of Organic Seed” Report

The Organic Seed Alliance - one of our true friends in the seed business today, released its "State of Organic Seed" Report; you can download a PDF here.

From the report's introduction, comes the following:
The lack of organically bred and produced seed is a barrier to the growth and ongoing success of  organic farming. Seed is the critical first link in organic production, and provides farmers with the genetic tools to confront day‐to‐day challenges in the field. Organic systems have different challenges than conventional counterparts and have fewer spray‐on solutions. Further investments in organic plant breeding will yield adapted genetics suitable to a range of pest and disease pressures, growing seasons, and flavor and nutrition needs. Organic seed that is appropriate for regional agronomic challenges, market needs, regulations, and the social and ecological values of organic agriculture is therefore fundamental to the success of organic farmers and the  food system they supply.  

Later, in the body of the report, it goes on to say....  the seed industry is one of the most concentrated in agriculture. Concentrated ownership of plant genetic resources, largely facilitated by exclusive rights afforded under utility patents, has limited private and public plant breeders’ access to genetics. Onerous genetic licensing agreements dictate if and how genetics will be used and create a culture of fear, as some breeders worry about legal actions against them if they unknowingly or incorrectly use patented material.

The whole report makes for some very informative reading - if you are not familiar with the Organic Seed Alliance, I urge to look at their information - they are doing really good work towards insuring our organic seed supplies and deserve our support.


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