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.