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EUROPEAN-SEED.COM I EUROPEAN SEED I 35 and we had a journalist from Agra Europe present. The document Speak Up For Seeds aims at targeting different groups with no technical background or knowledge about the sector. Even though only the special- ised press was invited to the event at the European Parliament and they have reported on it the document is also intended for the general media. As the seed law was rejected last year and the Commission did not come back with any other proposals the deci- sion-makers are not working on this file and it is challenging to bring the attention of media and Members of the European Parliament back to this subject. The press was invited to discover more about the Speak up for Seeds campaign and the vision doc- ument during the event and this document will be a tool to communicate and present the sector in the future at ESAs events or whenever there will be an appropriate occa- sion. ES Is there a way to bring this docu- ment to the attention of the general public and are there plans for transla- tion into other European languages ESA The main target groups are deci- sion-makers in Brussels and at a national level other associations or NGOs which are or potentially will be partners of ESA in different fields. Reaching the wider public would be quite difficult and it would require significant resources. We believe that the vision document is a tool available for our membership that can be used in many ways. It could help reach the general public i.e. during an event organised by a national association it could be distributed to the participants or companies could make use of it when they have initiatives to involve and present the sector to citizens such as during open door days at their premises. It is important to understand that this document represents only the first step of a broader communication strategy that should improve the image of the sector in the future. The document was translated into five other lan- guages French Italian Danish Slovenian and Spanish and already presented to the press in some of those countries by the national association members of ESA. ES How has ESA targeted the deci- sion makers in Europe And what should change on the side of the regulators. In other words which type of mentality would you like to see on their side ESA ESA is in contact with decision-mak- ers on a daily basis. Having the right tools to present the sector and make them understand what plant breeders and seed companies really do is a key factor to gain their support. Members of the Parliament Commission officers and representatives of Member States need to get familiar with the sector recognise the importance of plant breeding and understand the benefits in our daily life. Regulators should be open for dis- cussion comprehend the sector and make decisions on a scientific basis. To get there we need a first approach which has to be more general and capable of making them feel comfortable when arguing in favour of our sector. Ideally decision makers would be open minded willing to get informed and pro innovation. Nowadays we are missing some of those characteristics. ES Has there been a good coverage of the document and what has been the impact so far ESA MEPs are generally happy to receive this kind of document. It allows them to have an idea about the sector without getting lost in technical issues. Those who do not know the sector are most of the time positively sur- prised when shehe discovers what breeders do the link with the food on their plate with what they wear or what they admire in their garden is more effective than any graphics or scientific papers they could get. We need a strong and competitive European research on plant breeding. I get really sad and disappointed when I see how business after business in the plant breed- ing sector moves their research about future plant breeding techniques to other parts of the world especially the U.S. This makes it really difficult for Europe to compete glob- ally and to preserve the European genetic and cultural diversity. stated MEP Marit Paulsen during the presentation of the vision docu- ment at the Parliament. Moreover Agriculture Commissioner Hogan said Plant breeding is among the fundamental activities to ensure food secu- rity. There is a need to highlight the impor- tance of research and innovation in the field of agriculture. I encourage you ESA to keep the issue at the forefront of public attention as you have been doing. ESA will continue to work and lobby for that we hope we will get more and more support in the future and to have many more decision makers on our side. ES What is the key message of the ESA vision that you would like the readers to take home and talk about with their friends family and col- leagues ESA Without plant care products and machinery agriculture would be very diffi- cult but without seeds it would be impossible. Behind the beautiful landscapes in Europe behind every single plant there is a seed. In a context in which mechanisation reaches its limits and other inputs such as fertilisers or plant protection products are being more and more restricted seed innovation must be at the heart of the food chain. The seed sector invests up to 20 per cent into RD to improve plants innovates for yield food security choice quality sustainable farm- ing and diverse uses of plants in a modern bio economy and drives growth in Europes rural areas. For all these reasons the sector has to be recognised as the key sector to help achieving policies objectives and should be supported to boost its competitiveness and develop the solutions to the challenges of the future. httpswww.euroseeds. euspeaking-seeds-eu- ropean-parliamentst- hash.bodJq56c.dpuf