Fund for Crop Plant Development
Promoting non-profit Organic Plant Breeding
The main objective of the Fund is to promote non-profit organic and biodynamic plant breeding with a wide range of measures. It aims to demonstrate the manifold benefits of biodynamic breeding for sustainable agriculture, for the preservation and the extension of biodiversity, for a healthy nutrition and many other common goods. Organic plant breeding needs a Lobby.
The Fund is not an allotment fund – it selects its own projects and partners. Unsolicited grant applications will not be answered.
Each bag of seeds contains three goods: a common cultural good, a public legal good and a private economic good. Since thousands of years, the seeds from cultivated plants were a part of mankind’s cultural heritage, which belongs equally to all people living on earth and provides them with their daily food. At the same time, the seeds are carriers of variety characteristics, a result of years of work – and therefore also a kind of property – of breeders. Finally, in every case the same seed bag is a commodity and has a clear private owner.
Respecting the quality of these three goods and bringing them into a balanced relationship is a major social challenge today. This is the source for demands like ensuring unrestricted access to all genetic resources and prohibiting the patenting of plants.
The study identifies three problem areas that inhibit the further expansion of non-profit biological plant breeding in Europe:
1. the ignorance of the almost complete dependence on conventional seed companies by producers, processors and traders.
2. the inadequate financing of organic breeding and seed production through the companies in the organic value chain.
3. the lack of promotion of young talents in breeding initiatives and seed companies.
The new project of the Fund for Crop Plant Development aims to address and process these issues for
all stakeholders & partners in the supply chain. A small initiative group will address the attention
and develop concrete solutions and implement them in practice.
Growth, differentiation and maturation processes as the key to quality production. Studies on the production of secondary ingredients in cereals and their influence on tolerance and digestibility in human nutrition.
Training young biodynamic breeders and breeding initiatives.
In cooperation with the Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum Dornach, and other Partners.
Next Workshop (in german Language): January 3-7, 2022
Biodynamic and IFOAM Plant Breeding Rules
(DEMETER International International and Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement)
Seeds and plant material (IFOAM Norms 2014)
4.1.2 Seeds and plant materials shall be propagated under organic management for one generation, in the case of annuals, and for perennials, two growing periods, or 18 months, whichever is the longer, before being certified as organic seed and plant material.
4.8 Breeding of organic varieties Explanatory Note: This section refers to breeding of organic varieties, not simply use or production of organic seeds from regular (conventional) varieties.
Organic plant breeding and variety development is sustainable, enhances genetic diversity and relies on natural reproductive ability. It aims for new varieties particularly suited for organic production systems. Organic breeding is always creative, cooperative and open for science, intuition, and new findings. Organic plant breeding is a holistic approach that respects natural crossing barriers. Organic plant breeding is based on fertile plants that can establish a viable relationship with the living soil. Organic varieties are obtained by an organic plant breeding program.
4.8.1 To produce organic varieties, plant breeders shall select their varieties under organic conditions that comply with the requirements of this standard. All selection practices except meristem culture shall be under certified organic management.
4.8.2 Organic plant breeders shall develop organic varieties only on the basis of genetic material that has not been contaminated by products of genetic engineering.
4.8.3 Organic plant breeders shall disclose the applied breeding techniques. Organic plant breeders shall make the information about the methods, which were used to develop an organic variety, available for the public latest from the beginning of marketing of the seeds.
4.8.4 The genome is respected as an impartible entity. Technical interventions into the genome of plants are not allowed (e.g. ionizing radiation; transfer of isolated DNA, RNA, or proteins).
4.8.5 The cell is respected as an impartible entity. Technical interventions into an isolated cell on an artificial medium are not allowed (e.g. genetic engineering techniques; destruction of cell walls and disintegration of cell nuclei through cytoplast fusion).
4.8.6 The natural reproductive ability of a plant variety is respected and maintained. This excludes techniques that reduce or inhibit the germination capacities (e.g. terminator technologies).
The Fund for Crop Plant Development is organised as a foundation and is recognised as a non-profit organisation. Donations are tax-deductible. With donations and legacies you help to improve the development conditions of biodynamic breeding in the long term. Commercial register entry: CHE-115.144.140
IBAN: CH13 0839 2000 1579 9830 4
Freie Gemeinschaftsbank Basel