IFOAM Seeds Platform

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IFOAM SEEDS Platform is a self-organized structure bringing together individuals and organizations to move forward on the issue of seed and plant breeding in Organic Agriculture


The 18th IFOAM Organic World Congress in Istanbul, October 12-15 2014 provided an occasion for members of IFOAM - Organics International and international experts to discuss the role of seeds and plant breeding in organic agriculture. A Pre-conference Meeting for Seeds and Breeds for a More Organic World was  organized to share ideas on how to create a framework within IFOAM - Organics International to define organic breeding and to identify a model for dealing with intellectual property rights in organic agriculture.

After the successful conclusion of  the 18th OWC a group of interested individuals decided to create a framework within IFOAM - Organics International to continue the discussion on organic seeds and plant breeding. The General Assembly approved three motions to promote alternative breeding programs and evaluate existing ones using the principles of Organic Agriculture. The IFOAM SEEDS Platform has been created to share knowledge among a wider network of experts and organizations working to provide alternative seeds to organic farmers. By doing so the group aims to provide valuable inputs for IFOAM - Organics International and contribute to the discussion on organic seeds and plant breeding based on existing expertise and knowledge.

The SEEDS Platform has been formally approved by the World Board on June 1st in Korea and is now recruiting Members and Associates to starts its activities in cooperation with IFOAM - Organics International.

Rice SeedlingsSeed - Overview seedMan holding seed pod


IFOAM - Organics International and its SEEDS Platform recognize initiatives worldwide that want to create an alternative model of seed production. For all these experiences to be successful some common obstacles have to be overcome. There are farmers, breeders, institutions and civil society actors that are committed to producing seeds compatibly with the principles of Organic Agriculture. They are therefore the experts that can contribute to the international debate on organic seeds and plant breeding. The SEEDS Platform can serve as the ideal meeting place to share knowledge, concerns and ideas on what IFOAM - Organics International can do to support the alternatives to conventional seed breeding.

The topics that have been identified as key to strengthen organic seeds and plant breeding are:

  • How to improve use of organically multiplied seeds in organic farming globally
  • Creating a model for dealing with intellectual property rights in organic agriculture
  • Selecting breeding practices that fit organic agriculture, considering their environmental and societal effects
  • Revitalizing breeding methods that are underutilized by conventional agriculture

The SEEDS Platform also constitutes a hub for the diffusion and sharing of information on existing projects to provide examples and create general awareness on the topic. The goal will be to create a network for exchanging success stories and bring together people with experience in different fields and contexts. 

Contact Information

  • Riccardo Bocc
  • Veronique Chable
  • Bernd Horneburg
  • Monika Messmer
  • Gebhard Rossmanith
  • Michael Sligh

info [at] seeds.ifoam.bio

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