b'4. Phytosanitary Standards: The international seed sector supports the adoption of internationally recognized phytosanitary standards for seed trade, such as ISPM 38. The correct implementa-tion of these international standards allows for the establishment of import requirements for seeds that are harmonized and predictable, allowing efficient movement of seeds crossing international borders.By incorporating these tools and measures, the international seed sector is enhancing its capacity to mitigate risks associated with emerging diseases, ensuring a more resilient and secure global seed industry.The understanding should always be that the international seed sector is the first to try to mitigate risks on emerging dis-eases, says Metzelaar. Long term relationships with customers and basic food security are the foundations of the sector. Dialogue with NPPOs, the scientific community and competitors are of utmost importance in the recognition and combat against emerging dis-eases. The incentive to be the first to introduce resistance is the most effective motivator to solve any issue that affects food production. REGULATORY ADJUSTMENTS FOR A SMOOTHER SEED TRADEIt is a well-established fact that the seed sector is very diverse. Still,Rose Souza Richardscoordinated efforts across the seed value chain will enable a more cohesive global sector capable of more timely response to emerg-ing threats and more seamless movement of seed across interna- PROPOSED ACTIONS TO ENHANCE THE SMOOTHNESS tional borders. These coordinated efforts ultimately depend on aOF THE INTERNATIONAL SEED TRADE.science-based international trade environment. 1. Harmonization of Standards: International alignment Companies that are member of ISF have committed to applyon testing protocols and phytosanitary requirements in the most effective methods to move clean and healthy seed from oneaccordance with international standards and agreements country to the other, says Metzelaar. And trust and transparencycan reduce trade barriers and streamline processes.are key words in discussing regulatory adjustments. Biased opinions on the objectives of the sector create artificial barriers for the move- 2. Mutual Recognition and Confidence: Mutual ment of seeds. A well-established technical base for the reasons whyrecognition and confidence between countries, these barriers are set is of first importance, he says. acknowledging and accepting each others phytosanitary Enhancing the smoothness of international trade requirescertificates. This approach promotes trust and simplifies strategic regulatory adjustments that foster harmonization, trans- the movement of seeds across borders, eliminating the parency, and efficiency, agrees Souza-Richards.need for redundant testing and documentation.To that end, some actions can be taken by the NPPOs to enhance the smoothness of the international seed trade (see side- 3. Digital Documentation and Traceability: Embrace bar) By adopting these regulatory adjustments, countries can createdigital technologies for documentation and traceability an environment conducive to smoother international trade in seeds,of seed shipments. Electronic systems can reduce says Souza Richards. paperwork, enhance accuracy, and expedite customs clearance, contributing to more efficient international PREVENTING FUTURE DISRUPTIONS trade.There are several effective strategies to pre-empt or slow the emer- 4. Capacity Building: Invest in capacity-building initiatives gence of new plant disease issues and their related internationalto strengthen regulatory bodies in different countries. This trade disruptions. Most importantly, these strategies start withensures that nations have the expertise and resources international alignment at every level of the seed value chain.to implement and enforce phytosanitary regulations Preventing future disruptions at the international leveleffectively.involves a proactive and collaborative approach. International col-laboration among researchers, the public and the private sectors5. Stakeholder Engagement: Foster ongoing dialogue leads to a deeper understanding of potential risks and the develop- between regulatory authorities, industry stakeholders, ment of effective preventive measures, says Souza-Richards. and research institutions. Involving all relevant parties The key words remain trust and transparency, adds Metzelaar,in the regulatory decision-making process promotes pointing out that all parties involved have the same end goal: avoid- a comprehensive understanding of challenges and ing risks and recognizing possible important disruptions to foodfacilitates the development of pragmatic, science-based production. However, he says, risk should be measured and seedregulations.as a vector for disease should be proven. The approach to regulate just in case is disruptive to the production of our everyday food.8ISEED WORLD EUROPEISEEDWORLD.COM/EUROPE'