On 24-25 November 2020, TP Organics, the European Technology Platform for Organic Food and Farming, held its annual event, the Organic Innovation Days. Partnering with the Horizon 2020 project LIVESEED.
Day 1: LIVESEED final conference for stakeholder and policy makers
On 24 November, the LIVESEED final conference brought together more than 250 stakeholders and policymakers. Monika Messmer, Scientific Coordinator of LIVESEED, highlighted the project’s outcomes, innovations and results impacting European and national policymaking. During four workshops, attendees shared ideas, asked questions about the outcomes and progress made since the start of the project. The audience also identified success factors to increase the production and use of organic seeds. The workshops were structured along the following topics:
- Organic varieties in the organic regulations
- New models of cultivar testing for organic farming
- Innovative breeding approaches for organic farming
- Strengthening organic seed markets and business models
Day 1 ended with the reaction of Patrizia Pitton (Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development, DG AGRI) and Thomas Weber (Directorate General for Health and Food Safety) to LIVESEED’s policy recommendations and a panel debate with these representatives from the European Commission. Monika Messmer concluded that organic plant breeding requires more financing. Actors in the value chain should take responsibility and invest in organic breeding. While private foundations can provide support, public funding is needed as well. Public institutions should engage in organic breeding.
Day 2: LIVESEED European workshop
On Day 2, almost 100 participants attended the LIVESEED European workshop, where they learned about the project’s progress at national level and key success factors in implementing national policy recommendations. The workshop also provided an opportunity for the audience to get inspired by smart practices from all over Europe on seed expert groups, organic field trials and national seed databases. Another highlight was the launch of the European Router Database that will connect the national seed databases and make it easier for seed producers to place offers on multiple national databases. The workshop ended with a panel discussion on the need to establish national roadmaps for key crops to increase availability and use of organic seed. Representatives of the European Commission, several national authorities, seed companies and researchers joined the discussion.
Conclusion and announcement
We hope you enjoyed the first-ever online edition of the Organic Innovation Days and the sessions you took part in! If you signed up for the event, you have access to the SpotMe platform for the next 3 months and are encouraged to take the unique opportunity to browse the resources section or share your views with like-minded people via our LIVESEED and TPO discussion boards. To help us improve your experience, we kindly ask you to fill in this evaluation form about the programme and format of the event.
If you did not get the chance to attend the event, we are pleased to inform you that recordings and presentations of the LIVESEED final conference for stakeholder and policy makers and the LIVESEED European workshop are available both on this website and on the dedicated OID2020 playlist of the IFOAM Organics Europe’s YouTube channel.