LIVESEED webinar for Members of the European Parliament & their staff – 30 March, online
On 30 March, LIVESEED invited Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and their staff to present them the outcomes of the LIVESEED project and the relevance of the temporary experiment on organic varieties.This webinar was one of the activities to explain outcomes of the LIVESEED project to politicians and enable them to consider these outcomes in the current and upcoming political processes.
Martin Sommer, Policy Coordinator on GMOs, Patent and Seeds, IFOAM Organics Europe, highlighted the EU’s political context shaped by the Farm to Fork strategy and the upcoming Organic Action Plan –expected to result in a higher demand for organic seed and cultivars adapted to organic farming systems. However, Martin did stress that there are various bottlenecks that need to be tackled to upscale production of organic seed. These bottlenecks can be overcome by implementing the LIVESEED policy recommendations presented to the audience earlier. These recommendations include the European Router Database that went online recently and national roadmaps that define step-by-step goals and actions to map the way towards 100% organic seed.
In the second part of the webinar, Monika Messmer, Group lead Plant Breeding, FiBL Switzerland, explained why organic systems require new varieties suited for organic production and why the temporary experiment on organic variety testing (defined in the New Organic Regulation) is crucial to facilitate the registration and bringing to the market of organic varieties suited for organic production.
As the European Parliament is currently debating the upcoming Organic Action Plan and has a say in the distribution of EU budget towards experiments such as the one on organic varieties, this webinar was very timely and successfully showcased the outcomes of LIVESEED and their political relevance.
LIVESEED aims to boost organic seed and plant breeding across Europe. IFOAM Organics Europe and FiBL-Switzerland coordinate the project with 50 partners covering 18 EU countries. The LIVESEED project will increase transparency and will provide recommendations on organic seeds. The project partners analyse national seed databases and factors influencing organic seed production and use. They also explore national policies, smart practices, build EU infrastructure and analyse issues on propagation. The partners also want to advance testing protocols to improve the availability of organic seeds, ensuring they are adapted to the realities of organic farmers. LIVESEED is an EU Horizon 2020-funded project.
LIVESEED has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727230 and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation under contract number 17.00090. This communication only reflects the author’s view. The Research Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided.