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.