VOLUME 4 ISSUE 3 – TESTING – CRUCIAL FOR THE SURVIVAL OF ANY SEED COMPANY
Throughout the seed value chain, there is a lot of testing going on. There is testing for seed quality, germination, variety identity and purity, pests and diseases, for distinctness, uniformity and stability and other forms of testing. And we’re not only testing the seeds, but also soil and other parameters. This issue explores why we test. Does the variety live up to the standards that we have collectively agreed upon, standards the farmer and grower expect to find in the seed bag? Variety testing provides validation that the whole seed value chain meets user needs. Such procedures also contribute to further improving the quality of the product. Ultimately, testing is required to stay in the business.
VOLUME 4 ISSUE 2 – BREXIT – WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE SEED INDUSTRY?
With the UK leaving the EU, the time has come to find out what will happen to agriculture and how this break up will affect the seed sector. It is clear that basically all plant varieties – which are currently being sold in the UK – are enjoying Europe-wide plant breeders’ rights (PBR) as issued by the CPVO. The departure of the UK may result in the sudden loss of intellectual property rights for all these varieties, with potentially disastrous consequences. Not knowing what will happen with this and other seed and agriculture related issues has already started to affect investment decisions as seed companies are now filing for separate UK PBR on top of their EU PBR to ensure the fruits of their investments will receive adequate protection. Having clear legal frameworks and harmonisation between those various legal frameworks is now, more than ever, a clear goal, regardless of a countries political affiliations.
VOLUME 4 ISSUE 1 – MELON BREEDING IN EUROPE
We are faced with a vast amount of new requirements, so it is clear that we need to find and apply better solutions to deal with these requirements. Such solutions often stem from innovation, and the plant breeding and seed sector has seen numerous ground-breaking innovations that have saved the lives of billions of people. The European seed sector continues to create new plant varieties that are key to Europe’s agricultural productivity, sustainability and food security. Over the past two decades, several ground-breaking innovations were added to the plant breeder’s toolbox, such as CRISPR-Cas, oligonucleotide directed mutagenesis (ODM) and many others. These techniques are improvements and refinements of traditional breeding methods and are used to optimize yield, plant health and nutritional quality. However, the current regulatory framework and especially its a-synchronicity pose a major concern to the European and global seed trade and overall food security. In this issue, European Seed continues to explore the need for innovation in plant breeding and the seed trade.