b'ONCE MORE, WITH VIGOUR!HOW THE BSPB CONTINUES TO PROMOTE UKS SEED SECTOR.BY: MARCEL BRUINSWHY IT MATTERS O ne thing we keep reminding ourselves of is BSPBs two-part mission. First, we must The British Societydemonstrate the importance of plant breed-for Plant Breedersing to the sustainability of British agriculture and the (BSPB) recentlycontribution it makes to the economy. And second, held its Annualwe need to represent our members, says Wood. General MeetingWe really want to promote our industry, not just and celebratedto politicians and government, but to a much wider its 57 years ingroup of stakeholders, he adds. At the same time, existence. With thewe need also to engage closely with the EU too, as recent departurewe need to ensure that the UK plant breeding and of BSPBs CEOseed sector does not become isolated from Europe. Samantha Brooke,We now really want to look ahead and to engage and the organizationlobby with more vigour than in the past. underwent aThrough the years, the role of the BSPB has restructuring in Julyevolved into two key parts. The first is operational, 2023, with Stephrelating specifically to BSPBs financial and technical Spiers coming in asside. This involves the licencing, collecting, and dis-Head of Businessbursing of royalties, as well as overseeing the national Operations, andlist trials. The second is policy-oriented, where the Anthony HopkinsBSPB represents and promotes the interests of the as Head of Policy.UK plant breeding industry. BSPB represents indus-Seed World Europetry in the UK, in the EU and internationally. It alsoRobin Wood, BSPB Chairman.sat down withworks within industry towards other stakeholders in Robin Wood, BSPBthe chain with the help of a lot of communications.Chairman; Steph Spiers, BusinessREASONS TO BE PROUD bred plants and animals as well as the marketing of OperationsThere are a number of things that we can be proudfood and feed produced from such plants and ani-Manager; andof, says Spiers. First, we have a great track recordmals. Spiers emphasizes that the underlying rational Chris Guest,of royalty/licence collection, where other Europeanfor the bill is that precision-bred varieties pose no deputy Chairmannational organizations look to us to see how we arenew or additional risks compared to conventionally at the BSPB toso successful. And the fact that we have implementedbred ones. get their take ononline payments helps with the efficiencies of ourWed like to express our gratitude to DEFRA, the most recentoperations. Apart from that, we continue to providethe relevant Ministers and all others for their support developmentshigh quality trial data for National Listing and forin this, says Wood. However, he adds, Were not within theRecommended List systems.there yet, as more lobbying is needed. organization, andWood concurs and mentions that all BSPB mem- We very much appreciate this bill as it can help how its membersbers should be proud of how the BSPB is working.us to deliver more innovation to support our custom-are coping with theWe have a team that continuously seeks to be efficienters, Spiers agrees. But apart from this boost towards UK leaving the EU. and ensures the royalty collection from their IP.more innovation, we also need our UK seed sector to be sustainable as well. PRECISION BREEDINGAt least part thanks to BSPB and the whole seed sec- CHALLENGES AHEADtors lobbying efforts, the UKs Genetic TechnologyThe BSPB also realizes that there are challenges, Bill, also called the Precision Breeding Bill, receivedespecially in the movement of seeds between the UK Royal assent in March 2023 and is on its way to comeand the EU. into force as law. This is a bill that regulates theIt is more challenging now to move seeds for release, marketing and risk assessment of precisionresearch purposes, for introductory trialling and 34ISEED WORLD EUROPEISEEDWORLD.COM/EUROPE'