Seed World

Focused on Surviving or Thriving?

I frequently engage with industry leaders to discuss the direction of our sector. The overall sentiment in our conversations at ISF World Seed Congress was remarkably positive, with a dynamic shift happening right now regarding where businesses will emerge and who will deliver on these new opportunities. However, the industry currently feels divided into two distinct camps.

On one side, we have businesses battening down the hatches, trying to figure out how to weather the storm. There’s much debate about the length of this potential downturn cycle. Will it last one year? two years? Three years? This uncertainty looms large, prompting these companies to adopt a cautious approach.

Shawn Brook, Seed World Group President.

Contrastingly, there’s another group hell-bent on growth. They see this period as an opportunity to expand market share and attract new customers. These companies are pulling out all the stops to succeed and are driven by a desire to seize the moment.

This dichotomy is fascinating. It poses a critical question to all industry players: which camp do you belong to? I propose that there might be three distinct measuring sticks based on my recent conversations at ISF.

First, there’s a group of industry professionals who are exhausted from constantly having to tell their story, persuade skeptics and reiterate the importance of science in decision-making.

These individuals feel drained by the continuous effort required to advocate for their positions.

Conversely, another group is invigorated by this challenge. They are motivated by the desire to change minds and win hearts, seeing this as an opportunity to make a significant impact. Again, the question arises: which group do you identify with, and which will you choose to be?

The final group is between those who prefer to work in isolation and those who believe in collaboration. The African proverb comes to mind: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” We see some individuals hitting the panic button, feeling the need to act swiftly and independently. Meanwhile, others recognize the importance of long-term planning and collective effort. They understand that achieving their goals requires teamwork and unity.

ISF plays a crucial role in guiding us towards the right answers in these areas. Loud and clear, ISF is positioned to advocate for science-based decision-making, inspire resilience and motivation, and encourage collaboration over isolation. In line with this vision, I am recommitting myself and my company to these three pillars.

Let us embrace these principles and steer our industry towards a brighter, more collaborative future. Together, we can weather any storm and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

Shawn Brook