8 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM it is about communicating the importance and the benefits of plant breeding in general. We want to show how plant breeding helps to meet consumer expectations, how it helps to find natural solutions to meet the food demand and how it supports resource efficient farming by safeguarding yields and reducing losses in the field. The campaign title “Embracing the Power of Nature” should show that plant breeding is about using tools and mecha- nisms provided by nature to improve plant production and plant based food products. We decided on a digital campaign using social media like Facebook and Twitter based on a campaign website. With this we hope to be able to engage with a wider interested public and the respective political stakeholders. ES: HOW ARE YOU ENGAGING ESA MEMBERS IN SPREADING THIS MESSAGE? ARE YOU SEEING THE FIRST EFFECTS? PJ: The campaign was set up without any ESA branding. We share all the campaign materials with our members and with that, members can adapt and make use of the material according to their needs. Members can engage on different levels: they can share the ESA messages on their social media channels, but they can also make use of the whole material independent of the ESA activities. Not all our members are already active on http://plantbreeding.eu/ https://www.facebook.com/euroseeds https://twitter.com/ESA_euroseeds social media, but those who are active are really committed to engage in the campaign. Some even translate the visuals, others translate the Facebook or Twitter messages, but use the original visuals in English language. We have regular exchanges with our members on the development of the campaign and expect a continuous growth of engagement for 2018. ES: AT THE MOMENT, WE ARE SEEING A DIVERGENCE BETWEEN COUNTRIES IN HOW THEY REGULATE THESE NEW TECHNIQUES. WHAT ARE THE PITFALLS OF SUCH AN APPROACH, AND WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE? PJ: In fact, the first countries already started to take decisions on the approval of products resulting from the latest breed- ing methods and we see that most of these countries will not regulate those plants as GMOs that are indistinguishable from conventional plant varieties. With that they follow the same approach as has been suggested by ESA and ISF. ESA actively participates in the discussions on ISF level to promote not only criteria for a harmonized scope of regulatory oversight on global level, but also to have a harmonized implementation of these criteria to prevent drawbacks and barriers for the functioning of international cooperation in research, breeding, access to ger- mplasm as well as international seed and grain trade. ES: THE GRAIN TRADE SECTOR HAS ALSO BEEN VERY ACTIVE IN THIS DEBATE. HOW IS THE INTERACTION BETWEEN GRAIN AND SEED TRADE? PJ: The seed and the grain trade sector always had common needs and interests. Both are international businesses and grains as well as seeds are distributed worldwide. Therefore, ESA on EU level as well as ISF on international level are in a continuous dialogue with the grain trade sector to achieve a common understanding of the challenges we face with the latest plant breeding methods and with that a way of cooperation that allows business on each side without major hurdles and risks for each sector. Discussions are ongoing. Editor’s Note: Petra Jorasch is manager Plant Breeding & Innovation Advocacy at the European Seed Association (ESA). “We want to show how plant breeding helps to meet consumer expectations, to find natural solutions to meet the food demand and how it supports resource efficient farming by safeguarding yields and reducing losses in the field.” - Petra Jorasch Campaign material for Embracing the Power of Nature.