b'WHAT CHANGED QUITE RADICALLY, IS THE OVERALL POLITICAL BACKGROUND BEFORE WHICH THE COMMISSION NOW VOWS TO ACT AND TO TAILOR ITS INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVES.IN THE MIX What should be avoided as well is the attempt to (ab)use Unfortunately, already back in 2013/14 all this got mixed up, firstthe seed marketing proposal to re-discuss (and regulate) the in the Commissions proposal and then in the ensuing politicalgeneral direction of the EUs agricultural production, what farm debate. The proposed tool of an all-encompassing Regulationmodel we prefer and what good food is made of. This is not a suggested full harmonisation (and uniformity) of rules for alldecision to make for seed regulators, nor for seed suppliers. It is species and markets while the integrated elements for specificone for farmers and consumers. What Europes seed legislation operators, niche productions and seed material pointed in themust continue to assure is that farmers can confidently access opposite direction. The consequent misperception of the pro- an ever-growing range of high-quality seed of well-performing posal has not least been the result of a lack of clarity of whatplant varieties that meet the demand of customers and con-the rationale of the new legislation was supposed to be: safe- sumers, in all market segments, be they mainstream or niches. guarding fair competition, a common market and high quality,In addition, practical and specific provisions should continue resource efficient agricultural production or preservation ofto allow and facilitate the pursuit of further policy objectives plant genetic resources in- and ex-situ and facilitated rules forrelated to seed, such as conservation and recreation. But they private, non-commercial gardeners and conservation networks.should neither contradict nor jeopardise the core objectives of the Common Market legislation for commercial seed.WHAT TO AVOID?Surely, such ambiguity should be avoided with the new initiative.FINGERS CROSSEDThis should start with the realisation that one specific legislationIf the Commissions further consultation process and later leg-must not be overburdened with too wide a range of differentislative proposal includes such clear objectives and differentia-policy objectives. Seed Marketing legislation is in the first placetion, maybe we will see a different discussion developing in the indeed a marketing legislation. It regulates a defined market andmonths to come. And if that could lead to a less divisive, less how and what products may be supplied and sold. While there isagitated and more constructive dialogue, well then maybe we ample room for tailor made exemptions or specifications, theredo in the end arrive at a proposal and, ultimately, new EU seed is logically also a need for some uniform principles and thuslaw that will prove at least as successful as the current one. Lets exclusions of low-quality or untested products.keep our fingers crossed!14IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'