Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
Page 16
Page 17
Page 18
Page 19
Page 20
Page 21
Page 22
Page 23
Page 24
Page 25
Page 26
Page 27
Page 28
Page 29
Page 30
Page 31
Page 32
Page 33
Page 34
Page 35
Page 36
Page 37
Page 38
Page 39
Page 40
Page 41
Page 42
Page 43
Page 44
Page 45
Page 46
Page 47
Page 48
Page 49
Page 50
Page 51
Page 52
EUROPEAN-SEED.COM I EUROPEAN SEED I 31 The executive board and the working groups meet more often if required. Saatgut Austria is an association with a democratic structure. Although companies with different structures and interests are members democratic decisions are respected by all after sufficient discussion. At the international level Saatgut Austria is a member of the European Seed Association and the International Seed Federation. The chairman and some members of the executive board are also working in different sections of ESA and ISF. Some members who are cooperatives are also in invoved with the Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations COPA-COGECA. Within this framework there is also contact with other national seed associations. DISCUSSION COORDINATION AND PROMOTION The goal of Saatgut Austria is to discuss coordinate and promote the interests of Austrian plant breeders and seed producers. T hese goa l s a r e a c h i e v e d t h r o u g h presentations discussions and meetings combined with membership subscriptions donations and proceeds from projects and conferences. At the national level Saatgut Austria has a very good relationship with the Austrian agricultural authority and parts of the government. Saatgut Austria is an acknowledged stakeholder and is given a chance to discuss laws and other regulations before they are passed. THE ROLE OF SAATGUT AUSTRIA Si nce S a atg ut Au s t r i a mem b er s do not generally belong to international associations the association is their direct connection to the European Seed Association and International Seed Federation. Bringing together plant breeders and seed producers especially getting them in contact with the government and the authorities is one of the main roles of Saatgut Austria. The association functions as a coordinator of research projects between plant breeding companies and research institutions. It also lobbies for the use of certified seed. The most important topics within Saatgut Austria are arguing for a good farm-saved seed regulation and presenting professional plant breeding and seed production to the general public. MAJOR SUCCESSES AND CHALLENGES As mentioned the size of Austrian farms is quite small. As a consequence the coexistence of GMOs and GMO-free plants would be very difficult and expensive to regulate. Therefore Saatgut Austria suppor ted a regu lation concer n i n g contamination of non-GMO seed with GMO seed. Since 2001 Austria is the only country in Europe with a legal regulation concerning low-level presence. Although the threshold value is zero in a first testing of a defined sample and the seed industry has to pay for analysis legal measures can be taken if a minimal contamination is found later on. Since this regulation was introduced Austrian maize seed production increased by fivefold in the area. A big part of the produced seed is exported to regions where GMO-free seed is important. Austria is known as a reliable partner in this area. In addition the seed production of soybeans has increased similarly. A breeding program for non-GMO soybeans has even been established in Austria in recent years. The main challenge Saatgut Austria faces is to maintain regionally adapted Oilseed pumpkin female flower. Oilseed pumpkin.