b'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 diseases, Metzelaar says. Long term relationships with custom-ers 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 diseases. 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, coordinated efforts across the seed value chain will enable a more cohesive global sector capable of more timely response to emerging threats and more seamless movement of seed across international borders. These coordinated efforts ulti-mately depend on a science-based international trade environ-ment.Companies that are member of ISF have committed to apply the most effective methods to move clean and healthyRose Souza Richardsseed from one country to the other, Metzelaar says. And trust and transparency are key words in discussing regulatory adjust-ments. Biased opinions on the objectives of the sector create artificial barriers for the movement of seeds. A well-establishedPROPOSED ACTIONS TO ENHANCE THE technical base for the reasons why these barriers are set is of first importance. SMOOTHNESS OF THE INTERNATIONAL SEED TRADEEnhancing the smoothness of international trade requires strategic regulatory adjustments that foster harmonization,1. Harmonization of Standards: International alignment on testing protocols transparency and efficiency, agrees Souza-Richards.and phytosanitary requirements in accordance with international standards and To that end, some actions can be taken by the NPPOs toagreements can reduce trade barriers and streamline processes.enhance the smoothness of the international seed trade (see sidebar) By adopting these regulatory adjustments, countries2. Mutual Recognition and Confidence: Mutual recognition and confidence can create an environment conducive to smoother internationalbetween countries, acknowledging and accepting each others phytosanitary trade in seeds, says Souza Richards. certificates. This approach promotes trust and simplifies the movement of seeds Preventing Future Disruptions across borders, eliminating the need for redundant testing and documentation.There are several effective strategies to pre-empt or slow the3. Digital Documentation and Traceability: Embrace digital technologies for emergence of new plant disease issues and their related interna- documentation and traceability of seed shipments. Electronic systems can reduce tional trade disruptions. Most importantly, these strategies startpaperwork, enhance accurac, and expedite customs clearance, contributing to with international alignment at every level of the seed value chain. Preventing future disruptions at the international levelmore efficient international trade.involves a proactive and collaborative approach. International4. Capacity Building: Invest in capacity-building initiatives to strengthen collaboration among researchers, the public and the privateregulatory bodies in different countries. This ensures that nations have the sectors leads to a deeper understanding of potential risks andexpertise and resources to implement and effectively enforce phytosanitary the development of effective preventive measures, says Souza-Richards. regulations.The key words remain trust and transparency, Metzelaar5. Stakeholder Engagement: Foster ongoing dialogue between regulatory adds, pointing out that all parties involved have the same endauthorities, industry stakeholders and research institutions. Involving all relevant goal: avoiding risks and recognizing possible important disrup- parties in the regulatory decision-making process promotes a comprehensive tions to food production. However, he says, risk should be meas-ured and seed as a vector for disease should be proven. Theunderstanding of challenges and facilitates the development of pragmatic, approach to regulate just in case is disruptive to the productionscience-based regulations.of our everyday food.SW24/ SEEDWORLD.COMINTERNATIONAL EDITION 2024'