Seed World

ESA Presents Speak Up for Seeds

Today, Jan. 22, the European Seed Association presented its “Speak up for Seeds” vision to members of the European Parliament and the Commission. Policy advisers, seed industry representatives, Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis and Nathalie Chaze were in attendance.
This event stemmed from a report that Marit Paulsen, MEP, ESA, gave about plant breeding innovation, entitled “What options to increase quality and yields?” Adopted by the European Parliament in January 2014, this report defines plant breeding innovation as crucial for successfully addressing the grand challenges of food security, sustainable farming, healthy lifestyles and climate change.
“We need a strong and competitive European research on plant breeding,” Paulsen said. “I get really sad and disappointed when I see how business after business in the plant breeding sector moves their research about future plant breeding techniques to other parts of the world, especially the United States. This makes it really difficult for Europe to compete globally and to preserve the European genetic and cultural diversity.”
Based upon the report, ESA has developed its own ideas, outlining the seed sector’s current and future priorities. “This vision document, ‘Speak up for Seeds,’ is our concrete response to the challenge put to the sector by members of the European Parliament,” says Garlich von Essen, ESA secretary general. “The high level participation to this event by decision-makers of the European Parliament and Commission, as well as the rich discussion, are an important confirmation of the importance Europe attaches to plant breeding innovation. We are very much looking forward to continue and further broaden this debate in the coming months.”
The digital version of Speak up for Seeds is available online at