Seed World

June 8 Kicks Off ISF’s Virtual Congress

On Monday, June 8, the International Seed Federation will open the doors to its first-ever virtual congress, bringing some of agriculture’s and the seed industry’s foremost experts together for discussions on where the industry is today, the impacts of COVID-19 and what it means for the future.

“There’s no more business as usual,” says Michael Keller, ISF Secretary General. “During the past few weeks, the seed industry has had one clear focus and priority: to deliver seed for farmers to plant in the northern and southern hemispheres. Today, we are preparing the harvest of tomorrow.

“And ISF also has a new reality … this virtual environment. We want to build a dialogue with you about what’s next. What’s beyond COVID-19? What are the sustainable agriculture systems that we want to build and participate in? What are the food systems we want to build?”

Keller adds that the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals serve as a guide and that the industry has 10 years of work until 2030, 10 years to achieve these goals: zero hunger, protecting water resources, climate action, protecting life on land and much more.

Sessions include:

  • Opening Ceremony, June 8 at 12:00 CET
  • COVID-19 and Beyond: The Future of the Seed Industry, June 9 at 12:00 CET and 16:00 CET
  • Re-examining Innovation After COVID-19, June 10 at 12:00 CET

More than 2,000 attendees will join from around the world to listen to speakers from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, International Year of Plant Health Steering Committee, Wageningen University & Research, World Farmers’ Organisation and the International Grains Council. These speakers and more will be joined by those leading the way in the seed industry. Attendees will be able to glean insight and perspective from:

  • Eduard Fito, ISF President and director of business development and corporate affairs at Semillas Fitó.
  • Marco van Leeuwen, Rijk Zwaan managing director.
  • Usha Barwale Zehr, MAHYCO director and chief technology officer.
  • David Malan, Klein Karroo Seed Production managing director.
  • Lorena Basso, president, Basso Semillas and Asociación Semilleros Argentinos.
  • Franck Berger, CEO, Limagrain Vegetable Seeds.
  • Neal Gutterson, Corteva Agriscience chief technology officer.
  • Vincent Navarro, BASF Vegetable Seed senior vice president.
  • Jeff Rowe, Syngenta Global – Seeds president.

Be sure to check out the full panel of speakers and agenda at All you need to participate is an internet connection and the device of your choice.

Powered by Seed World, the ISF Virtual Congress will air live June 8-10 and then be available on demand through June 17. There’s no cost to attend. All you need to do is register at Just like an on-site congress, attendees will be able to visit with ISF leaders, ask questions of panelists and “take home” resources with a virtual briefcase.

For questions and more information, please contact Francine Sayoc, ISF communications manager at