March 23-24, 2019 Growing Seed Savers partners participate in Arche Noah policy workshop in Vienna.
To further educate ourselves in EU seed laws, Danish and Latvian partners participated in the workshop "New Opportunities and Challenges in European Law and Policy: Organic Regulation 2018/848 & Plant Health Regulation 2016/2031" organized by Arche Noah (Austrian seed savers organization).
The goal of this gathering was to bring together seed savers, small-scale farmers, organic breeders, organic seed producers and other civil society actors active in seeds and committed to agrobiodiversity, to discuss the opportunities and challenges posed to their activities by European law, especially concerning the marketing of seeds.
During the two days legal analysis of both Regulations was presented with real examples from different countries, e.g. how introduction and marketing of organic heterogeneous material, as well as group certification in Organic Regulation would be helpful to organic farmers, seed producers and other organizations. But also challenges in both Regulations were discussed, e.g. additional, stricter requirements in Plant Health Regulation and uncertain definition of organic heterogeneous material in Organic Regulation a.o. During group work we identified the biggest obstacles to success and what actions should be taken.
As a result of the workshop a common letter with proposals for changes in the Organic Regulation was created. It was addressed to the responsible European Commission working group, and was signed by 39 European organizations dedicated to organic farming and biodiversity. Also, it was agreed that each organization has to establish communication and collaboration with the authorities on national level to inform about the concerns and position of these organizations.
More information: https://www.arche-noah.at/english/policy/seeds-in-organic-agriculture