Kampanj för Suveränitet om frön
Frön måste förbli en del av underhuset!
av fröer hotas -
medlemmar av kommisionen, parlamentet och rådet!
the Seeds Meeting (NL)
A Seed NL et. al.
International Seed Festival (HE)
everyone who cares about our seeds and our freedom to use,
exchange and sell them!
is urgent action needed to avoid damage by the upcoming new EU
regulation of seed marketing. The new regulation will de facto ban
old and rare varieties and farmers varieties and threaten the
exchange and selling of seeds of diversity.
to make a link from his/her department to the seed issue, and try
to make clear to him/her that the proposal for a new EU seed
legislation will affect the cultural and biodiversity heritage of
your country and the freedom of farmers to use the seeds and the
varieties they want to.
Bad new EU-seed law ahead!
seed to seed” -
film is intended for all those interested in seed production -
beginners, amateur gardeners, farmers, vocational colleges,
children, those who wish to contribute to the conservation of
plant diversity, those for whom it is urgent to grow their own
seeds in order to adapt to different climate conditions or for
Seed“ - the booklet
the first weeks of November the Commission of the EU has released
drafts for new
of the seed sector:
Seed“ - the booklet
to Action for Seed Sovereignty on 16 October 2012:
Our demands are:
European Court of Justice's decision reconfirms the interdiction
of seed trade:
The European Court of Justice stated the validity of current EU legislation on seed commerce by its judgement on 12th of July. Thereby it rejected the fundamental critics uttered beforehand by Advocate General Kokott. Accordingly, the existing trade embargo for seeds from non-registered varieties remains untouched. This is a defeat for the agricultural biodiversity and the ones who dedicate themselves to self-determined agriculture and gardening.
Andreas Riekeberg from the campaign for seed-sovereignty says: „It is an annoying judgement far from the reality. The court solely has reconfirmed the current EU legislation without taking into account the detailed critic by Advocate General Kokott, which pointed out the ongoing destruction of biodiversity on the fields and in the gardens driven by the respective directives. This is a slap in the face of those concerned with agricultural diversity. The judgement keeps going on promoting the seed industry and their uniform varieties which only grow with the help of chemical inputs, be it pesticides or fertilizers.“
Jürgen Holzapfel lives on the farm Ulenkrug in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. He is a cultivator of old cereal varieties and saves his own seeds. He says: „I would have to tell the authorities about all the varieties of seeds which I save, even if I use them just for myself. To commercialize them, I would need to register them as conservation varieties, pay the fees and bear in mind not to exceed a certain quantity. I would even have to arrange with other farmers not to exceed the maximum threshold for a specific variety in a specific region. The court claims in the official press release to ensure the protection of plant genetic resources by this provision. This is just not true.“
The objectives of the campaign for seed-sovereignty are described by Anne Schweigler: „We will continue to struggle for the common right of all farmers and gardeners to decide for themselves which variety to cultivate. We will keep on organizing seed swaps and enhancing regional and international networks. The production of food and our alimentation have to be self-determined and must not be controlled by the agro-industry.“
The campaign for seed-sovereignty criticizes the policy of conserving the biodiversity stretched into a dwarfish frame by the EU directive. This in turn shall impede the emergence of a market of regional farm-saved seeds, e. g. for vegetables, cereals and seed oil as an alternative to the industrial market. Today, the European Court of Justice follows the legislative in its attempt to; „ … preventing the emergence of a parallel market for such seed, which was likely to constitute an impediment to the internal market for seed of vegetable varieties “. As written in the court's press release. It could have interfered with the business of the market-dominating corporations.
The campaign for seed-sovereignty is in line with the majority of seed saving initiatives in Europe, saying that the conservation directive is an impediment to the sustainment of biodiversity, which is luckily hardly applicable in reality. However, seed savers can be subject to prosecution when their work is disturbing the corporations.
The legal dispute between the seed saving initiative Kokopelli and the corporation Graines Beaumaux challenged the validity of current EU law and was brought to the European Court of Justice. The opinion of Advocate General Kokott on January 1st 2012 gave rise to hope that the restrictive EU directives could be dismissed.
Principally, only registered seeds may be traded within the EU. What was once meant to guarantee their quality, has evolved into a strong limitation of the diversity of seeds. Many old varieties have disappeared from the gardens and the shelves in the stores, either because they do not meet the catalogues constraints or their registration cannot be afforded by small farmers or initiatives.
Within the last 30 years a tremendous concentration on the seed market has been observed. A few transnational corporations comprise 65% to 80% of the share, depending on the crop and the region of the world. This was crucial to the accelerated destruction of biodiversity. Not until recent years (2008 - 2010), has the EU adopted three directives on conservation varieties. However, the activity of seed saving farmers and gardeners is limited due to the admission procedure and the restrictions of produced quantity.
of the Advocate General (19.01.2012):
Press release of the European Court of Justice (12.07.2012): http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/P_89305/
(Translation of the press release of the Campaign for Seed Sovereignty from 12.07.2012)
New EU Seed Law: “all power to the multinationals”
Seed Sovereignty is the basis for Food Sovereignty!
On October, 16th, there will be the World Food Day. The Forum for Food Sovereignty Nyeleni- Europe”, which met in August in Krems/Austria in August, calls for decentral actions during the week prior to October, 16th.
We, the Seed Campaign, understand ourselves as a part of the actions and the movements for food sovereignty.
Because of the October, 16th, we publish a message from Oliver de Schutter, the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the right to food, in solidarity with these worldwide struggles for food souvereignty. He sent this video-message to the Seed Campaign (and the European Civic Forum, as one of the initiators of the campaign) on the occasion of the Seed Action Days in April in Brussels.
Oliver de Schutter covers the issue of seed policies on the relationship between access to seeds and the Right to Food. He focuses on the developing countries and the consequences for peasants of the European and global seed legislations.
Read the text of the video message in English
Watch the video message online (French with English subtitles)
Download the video (70 MB!)
Free our seeds!
Days of Action
First European Seed Swap with participants from across Europe and beyond.
“There have been seed swaps in different European countries, but this is the first one at the European level”, says the German, Jürgen Holzapfel, co-organiser of the event and himself a farmer involved in conserving traditional wheat varieties. “Seed swaps are an important contribution to conserving agricultural biodiversity.”
“Seed is has always been the foundation of food sovereignty in Poland”, said Maciek Pilarski, coordinator of the International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside from Stryszow. “In Poland, there are 1.5 million small scale farmers, who could play an important role in conserving old varieties.”
“In the Turkish language the importance of seed is made evident in that only those who produce seed are called farmers. The others are called ‘guardians of the field’”, relates Abdullah Aysu, president of the Turkish Confederation of Farmers (Çiftçi Sen) which represents 40,000 small farmers. Çiftçi Sen is a member of Via Campesina and therefore participates in the Brussels seed swap.
During a colorful and good natured march, dubbed the 'Anti Lobby Tour', more than 58,000 signatures were submitted to the EU parliament.
On Monday, April 18th, the second day of the international days of action for seed sovereignty, a large demonstration marched through the EU district of Brussels. On this Anti Lobby Tour, in front of the Bayer agrochemical and seed company building, a petition with more than 58,000 signatories was handed over to three Members of the European Parliament.
Jürgen Holzapfel stressed the demands of the seed campaign: "We insist on the right to resow seeds from our own harvest for purpose of propagation and further distribution. Furthermore, we wish to see support of locally adapted varieties by promotion of conservation of heritage varieties and breeding improved varieties for organic and bio-diverse agriculture. We demand a new method of seed certification, which excludes GMO or chemical and energy intensive varieties."
In reply to the handover of the signatures, Vice President of the EU Parliament and Belgian MEP Isabelle Durant referred to the demonstrators as a vanguard that would continue to address important issues. She demanded this happen at all levels both within the EU and in member states. Together with their parliamentary colleagues Marc Tarabella and Kriton Arsenis, she took the signatures in three wheelbarrows to the European Parliament building. During the handover, MEP Tarabella called for a full inquiry into the consequences of proposed EU seed legislation reform.
Other stops brought the Anti Lobby Tour to the European Seed Association (ESA) building, the lobbying organization for the European seed industry, and to the DG General Research of the European Commission. Both of whom promote the use of industrial and genetically modified seeds.
After entertaining plays and speeches from representatives of Turkey and India on the impact of the EU seed law on small farmers, the demonstration concluded at the Place du Luxembourg square.
"The action days were a great success!" said Anne Schweigler, one of the organizers, “I'm very optimistic about the future. The enthusiasm and interest of the many people in the seed-swap, and the critical mass here today of many dedicated people of different backgrounds has strengthened hope in all of us. Here we've shown concrete and workable alternatives to the process of privatizing all areas of life and the living."
WORLD CAFÉ on SEED SOVEREIGNTY
More than 40 members from 17 Organisations of 12 European countries took part in the World Café in Brussels on 18/04/2011
from France/Suisse/Germany: Europ. Civic Forum
Let‘s meet in Brussels!
Tens of thousands of people throughout Europe are actively demanding that the right to produce seeds remains in the hands of small farmers and gardeners. A diversity of crops has nourished mankind for thousands of years. Seeds that we have inherited from past generations are the basis of life and are essential for food sovereignty.
The big seed trusts are determined to obtain worldwide control. This has been made clear by genetic engineering, patents on plants and animals, the introduction of seed reproduction fees… Add to that terminator technology that destroys the fertility of seeds and the prohibition of peasant varieties. We must prevent the very basis of our food supply from becoming a source of profit for multinational companies.
Two years ago we launched the petition „Sowing the future-harvesting diversity“ to protest against planned new European Union seed laws that are dominated by the interests of the big seed companies.
We intend to present the tens of thousands of signatures collected throughout Europe to the European Parliament and call for an enquiry to clarify whether these laws violate the fundamental right to food and to access to seeds.
We invite you to participate in two days of action during which we will make clear our opposition to EU policies and our intention to resist against them.
Come to Brussels! We are not prepared to accept that the basis of our livelihood is handed over to multinationals. In the future we intend to maintain and pass on the heritage of our plant varieties.
The main event will take place on 17 April, the day of international peasant resistance declared by Via Campesina, followed by a demon-stration on the 18th.
If you cannot come to Brussels, organise similar events in your countries, cities and villages!
11.00 -18.00 „Maison des Cultures et de la cohésion sociale de Molenbeek-Saint-Jean”, Chaussée de Merchtem 67, 1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean
Seed Swap and
Through this seed swap we want to draw public attention to a practice that has become increasingly widespread throughout Europe over the past few years and that could be made illegal by the planned EU laws.
with presentations and debate
Activists from India, Turkey and several European countries will describe the situation concerning seeds in their countries and the consequences of the planned EU laws.
Music and films, dance and demo workshop
„popular kitchen” of the „collectif du 123”
10.00 -13.00 „Mundo B”, Rue d'Edimbourg 26, 1050 Bruxelles
Getting to know each other, exchange of experience and knowledge, discussions on collective work on seeds and the maintaining and multiplication of plant and crop diversity in gardens and fields.
Demonstration to the Brussels offices of seed companies and their lobby organisations
Please contact us if you want to take part in these events and in the growing resistance against the monopolisation and privatisation of seeds !
Seedy Sunday 2010 in Brighton:
Photos by Dan Johnson Photography
Invitation to a
seed swap and exchange of know-how
Brussels, Sunday 17 April 2011
Within the framework of two days of action, an international seed swap will be organised with the aim of circulating all kinds of hardy and reproducible seeds and exchanging information, experiences and know-how on the production of seeds.
This event will bring together many initiatives which already exist in various countries. It will give them an occasion to present their activities and to establish links between us. This has become all the more urgent in view of the fact that European and international laws and regulations, either already in force or in preparation, could very well hinder or even prohibit such seed swaps.
Our main objective is to encourage the practice by farmers, amateur and professional gardeners of exchanging and giving seeds. This ancient tradition could be adopted by all people who are aware of the loss of diversity of varieties and of the risk posed by the growing privatisation of life-forms. We are witnessing a serious erosion of theoretical and practical knowledge. We want to look at ways of drawing attention to this danger and of passing this know-how on to a wider public.
To achieve this, we must use all means at our disposal!
Bring whatever you can that you think is appropriate to this event : seeds, exhibitions, slide shows, brochures, documents, films… Proposals for workshops (production and extraction of seeds, awareness building on gardening and agriculture…) or exhibits (vegetables, fruit, seeds, cereals or other collections of biodiversity…) will be welcome. Help us to awaken all our senses!
During the morning of Monday 18 April there will be time for meetings and discussions between all those interested in getting to know each other better. We would like to imagine together how experience and know-how concerning seeds can be passed on. Do you have training or pedagogical tools or methods which could be shared by others? In your opinion what would it be important to develop and in what form? Would you be ready to participate in the elaboration of such tools? Do you want to suggest other subjects for discussion on Monday morning?
For the seed swap, send us an exact list of what you need: space, tables, electricity, exhibition panels… If you cannot take part, you could send seeds that you are ready to share with us. The more seeds there are, the more diversity will be distributed. We ask you only to bring naturally produced reproducible varieties (no F1 or F2, GMOs, GMPs) with no risk of unintentional crossbreeds between varieties.
We will send you a more detailed program once it is available.
nature seeds are nomadic,
Longo Maï Seed-exhibition and excange in Païs Alp 2009, Provençe:
From March 25. to 27, 2010, 160 representatives of the European seed networks gathered in Graz, Austira, for the 5th European Seed Meeting “Let’s Liberate Diversity!”. They included groups that work on the conservation, use and distribution of plant diversity, civil society organizations, gardeners, breeders, and men and woman farmers from over 20 countries. (...)
Graz Declaration: Freedom for Diversity
These demands are directed toward Member States and the European Institutions.
The participants of the 5th European Meeting in Graz, March 2010.
Crop diversity is the result of human actions all over the world that created it. It is a common good and it belongs to everyone. Access to diversity is fundamental for our daily bread and for achieving food sovereignty. In many regions of the world men and women farmers still continue to produce, exchange, and sell their own seeds.
Seed laws in Europe are to be changed in 2011. The seed industry wants to extends its intellectual property rights and the patenting of crop varieties. It lobbies for stronger control and even the prohibition of farmers' non-registered varieties.
10 companies, among them Bayer, Monsanto, Syngenta and Limagrain, already control 67% of the world seed market. They no longer want to miss out on the rest of the market when they could impose their registered varieties - which usually only thrive with the help of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation - upon the rest of the world. However, it is not these genetically homogenous industrial seed varieties which will be able to feed the world in the future, but the diverse, regional varieties which are able to adapt to climate change.
The negotiations for the new European seed law are taking place behind closed doors, among representatives of the seed industry and EU bureaucrats. This does not lead us to expect a positive outcome. In order to influence the new seed laws we want to raise public awareness for our goals.