Organic seed and plant breeding to accelerate sustainable and diverse food systems in Europe – LIVESEEDING – is a LIVESEED follow-up project that aims to upscale organic seed and plant breeding to accelerate sustainable and diverse food systems in Europe. LIVESEEDING is an innovation project funded under the Horizon Europe programme that started in October 2022 and lasts for 4 years. The coordinator of the project is FiBL Europe, and the project brings together 37 partners from 17 European countries.
The main objective of the LIVESEEDING project is to foster the growth of the organic sector and transition towards more sustainable local food systems by delivering high-quality organic seeds of diverse cultivars adjusted to organic farming for a wide range of crops.
LIVESEEDING project will contribute to the upscaling of organic production in Europe by improving the availability of organic plant reproductive material of organic cultivars of a large range of crops bred for improved diversity and adaptation to local conditions, and through strengthening and diversifying the organic seed sector informed by market demands.
The ambitious political targets of increasing organic farmland to 25% according to the EU Green Deal and phasing out derogations for non-organic seed by 2035 according to EU organic regulation 2018/848, call for concerted action to achieve a 600% increase of organic seed of a large range of crops and cultivars. A multi-actor consortium of the LIVESEEDING project, involving the whole value chain, will co-create innovation in real network ecosystems and in connection with all relevant stakeholders, to increase the competitiveness of the organic seed and breeding sector building on key outcomes of the Horizon 2020 LIVESEED project.
A special emphasis of the LIVESEEDING project is on finding long-term solutions for increasing the quantities of 100% organic seed in the EU. In doing so, the “PUSH-PULL-ENABLE” model will be used, which will (i) increase the availability of organic seeds of cultivars suitable for organic production (PUSH), (ii) increase and stabilize market needs for organic seeds of cultivars suitable for organic production (PULL), and (iii) accelerate the legislative and regulatory environment for supply and demand (ENABLE).
The LIVESEEDING project officially started in October 2022, with a kick-off meeting which was held in Zagreb in Croatia from 18 to 21 October. The kick-off meeting was preceded by an Organic Seed Policy Conference that took place on October 18 in Zagreb. The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture- FiBL, IPS Konzalting and other LIVESEEDING project partners, as well as policymakers and experts from European and National organisations, seed companies and associations of organic producers, participated in the conference with the aim to exchange on the status quo and framework on organic seed and plant breeding and to discuss how to boost organic seeds and plant breeding, especially in Eastern and Southern Europe where the sector is still underdeveloped.