On 30 March, LIVESEED invited Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and their staff to attend a webinar to showcase the outcomes of the project and the relevance of the temporary experiment on organic varieties. This was one of the activities to explain outcomes of the LIVESEED project to politicians and enable them to consider these outcomes in the current and upcoming political processes.
Martin Sommer, Policy Coordinator on GMOs, Patent and Seeds, IFOAM Organics Europe, highlighted the EU’s political context shaped by the Farm to Fork strategy and the upcoming Organic Action Plan – expected to result in a higher demand for organic seed and cultivars adapted to organic farming systems. However, Martin stressed that there are various bottlenecks that need to be tackled to upscale production of organic seed. These bottlenecks can be overcome by implementing the LIVESEED policy recommendations presented to the audience earlier. One of these is the European Router Database and national roadmaps defining step-by-step goals and actions and mapping the way towards 100% organic seed.
In the second part of the webinar, Monika Messmer, Group lead Plant Breeding, FiBL Switzerland, explained why organic systems require new varieties suited for organic production and why the temporary experiment on organic variety testing (defined in the New Organic Regulation) is crucial to facilitate the registration and bring organic varieties suited for organic production to the market.
As the European Parliament is currently debating the upcoming Organic Action Plan and has a say in the distribution of EU budget towards experiments such as the one on organic varieties, this webinar was very timely and successfully showcased the outcomes of LIVESEED and their political relevance.
LIVESEED has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727230 and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation under contract number 17.00090. This communication only reflects the author’s view. The Research Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided.