Oct 16, 2018 EP Conference in Brussels on seeds in the New Organic Regulation
The Greens/EFA, Artemisia Aisbl & Arche Noah (with the support of additional European political groups) were organising a conference on “Seeds and Biodiversity in the new EU organic Regulation 2018/848” on 16th October 2018 in Brussels, inside the European Parliament.
The aim of the event was to celebrate the adoption of the pioneering provisions surrounding the provision of seeds for the needs of organic agriculture, explore the innovative aspects and opportunities offered by the new rules, and envisage the future path ahead for seed savers, breeders, farmers and consumers, before the entry into force of the Regulation in January 2021.
Since part of our project is also to study seed legislation in every partner country and to promote legislative changes favourable to biological diversity, we were attending this conference (some of us on site and some online) to gain more insight in this new regulation that concerns all EU member states.
During this conference it was discussed that in organic farming it is important to have genetically diverse plants that are able to withstand unexpected events, and here the newly included "organic heterogeneous material" and the provisions for simplified registration of an organic variety would be helpful (but only if uniformity of such material will not be requested). It was also discussed that seed patents and derogations in organic farming should be dropped.
In the conference it was concluded that the new Regulation and the promising provisions on seeds is only the beginning - discussions will continue on EU level to reach satisfying results.