b'BSPB has chosen to breathe new life into the visual identity of the organization, with a refreshed logo and website and the aim to help members and farmers recognize the importance of plant breeding.highlighted that the current legislation for these technologies isments in major arable crops in Europe in the past two decades. not fit for purpose and suggested that GE has the potential toNoleppas work has demonstrated to us all the ever-grow-support the EUs farm to folk and biodiversity strategies.ing importance of plant breeding to crop production efficiency BSPB is hopeful that the distinction between GE and GMOsand environmental responsibility. Most of all it has excited the will be clearly identified and that this will lead to restrictionsindustry and made everyone aware the efforts of plant breeders being lifted. Should this happen, it will offer a huge boost tomust be recognised and promoted to help the sustainability of members and represent a significant change in policy that BSPBagriculture in the future. believes will only help UK farming and food production. RE-EVALUATING PRM STEP FORWARD STEFFEN BSPB has welcomed the European Commission study on plant BSPB and its members were excited to hear the thoughts andreproductive material (PRM). The review, which updates a pre-findings of a new report that has the potential to help championvious study carried out in 2007-2008, confirms that whilst many plant breeding throughout Europe. Steffen Noleppa publishedaspects of PRM have remained consistent, the technical devel-the report that illustrates the socio-economic and environmen- opments in seed production and plant breeding should be mod-tal value of plant breeding to farming and food production. Iternised to reflect the developments in the sector. discusses how plant breeding has enabled the EU to produceThe study suggests that by allowing the industry to stream-crops more efficiently and highlights the yield benefits in certainline decision making procedures it can become more efficient. member states.It goes on to say that it could be possible to increase the number The research considers the impact that plant breeding hasof tasks that operators may carry out under supervision of the had on crop production since the turn of the millennium and offerscompetent authorities when the risk so allows. This represents some very encouraging conclusions and data. Noleppa states thata step forward for BSPB members and the industry as a whole on average and across all major arable crops cultivated in the EUand will enable a more productive and efficient process to emerge plant breeding contributes approximately 67 per cent to innova- from the findings in the study. tion induced yield growth. It goes on to confirm that this is equalBSPB is therefore looking forward to digesting the recently to an increase of yields by 1.16 per cent per annum. published impact statement with the goal of keeping the UK The report claims that plant breeding has directly led toaligned with the EU on seed related issues to secure the smooth an increase in the yield of arable crops in Europe and that onsupply of seed between nations. average production would have been more than 20 per cent lower in 2020 without the genetic crop improvements that have beenMOVING AHEADimplanted since the beginning of the millennium. More specifi- I have been in post for a year, and it has been a roller-coaster of a cally it identifies increases of 53 million tons of cereals and 8 mil- ride. We have all made such significant adjustments to our work, lion tons of oilseeds that have been produced because of modernsocial and family lives to cope with the changes COVID-19 has plant breeding methods.brought. BSPB is privileged to have such a dedicated team and This growth has reduced the need for the EU to importa helpful membership, and I am grateful to them all.wheat and other cereals which has improved world food securityThe pandemic has drawn attention to agricultures ongoing by making more food available. Arable farming has benefited withchallenge to feed our population. This, we hope, will lead to a almost 90,000 jobs being created and plant breeding has alsogreater appreciation for the work our members and the wider contributed to agricultural salaries increasing. agricultural community does to help.Noleppa states that less national habitat has been convertedAs things return to normal, I welcome the opportunity to face to food production because plant breeding has advanced the effi- industry challenges and I look forward to discussions with many ciencies of arable crop production. This has saved 21.5 millionof you in the near future. hectares of land from cultivation. Further environmental benefits include reductions in GHG emissions with a total of 4 billion tonsEditors Note: Sam Brooke is Chief Executive at The British of direct COemission being avoided by genetic crop improve- Society of Plant Breeders Ltd (BSPB).228IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'