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34 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM t the 2014 ESA Annual Meeting in Lisbon Portugal the European Seed Association launched its vision docu- ment Speak up for Seeds. The document laid out its own ideas outlining the seed sectors current and future priorities. One year later we look back at what has happened with the document and its impact on the industry. European Seed What triggered the creation of the vision document and why is it important to the European seed sector ESA The report from Member of Parliament MEP Paulsen on plant breeding innovation entitled What options to increase quality and yields was one of the starting points of our internal discussion at the European Seed Association. The report mentions the impor- tance of the plant breeding sector as regards the productivity diversity health and quality of agriculture horticulture food and feed pro- duction and the environment. But the global perception of the seed sector is often far and sometimes very different from these conclu- sions. The seed industry image is rather nega- tive probably due to a weak understanding of the role of our sector towards the worldwide and European challenges. The idea was to put research and development as a central and widely positive seen thing into the focus of a new communication strategy. The vision doc- ument was the response of our sector to that. A working group composed of about 15 representatives of the plant-breeding sector WE CANNOT TURN OUR BACK ON COMMUNICATION One year after the launch of ESAs vision document Speak up for Seeds European Seed checks in with the stakeholders to learn what has been achieved. breeders seed companies and national associa- tions established key communication messages about our sector. We want to have a dialog of quality with the regulators and decision makers in Europe and with experts media and more globally with the wider interested public and to communicate on our intentions and ambitions. ES One of the targeted audiences is the media. Can you tell me more about how ESA has targeted this audience How many and which media have been reached and has there been any feedback ESA On the occasion of the official launch event of the vision document at the EU Parliament it was also presented to the press BY CLAIRE PLANCHE AND JAN JACOBI WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE ESA SECRETARIAT