1 June 2017 marked the official start of the LIVESEED project which is coordinated by IFOAM EU. The objective of this 4-year project is to improve the performance and sustainability of organic agriculture by boosting organic seed and plant breeding efforts, and increasing the availability of cultivars adapted to organic growing conditions. The international consortium, in which ÖMKi plays a significant role, consists of 35 partners and 14 third linked parties from 18 countries.
The project will help to establish a level playing field in the organic seed market across Europe, improve the competitiveness of the organic seed and breeding sector, and encourage greater use of organic seeds by farmers. LIVESEED will improve guidelines for cultivar testing and strategies for ensuring seed health. It will develop innovative breeding approaches suited for organic farming. Finally, it will investigate socio-economic aspects related to the use and production of organic seed and their interaction with relevant (EU) regulations.
During the kick-off meeting from 19 to 21 June in Leuven all partners gathered to discuss the activities of the first year and how we reach our goal aiming for 100% organic seed by 2037. Main activities in the upcoming months will be state-of the art research on organic seed health, seed availability and derogations in the EU memberstates. Besides several research tasks, ÖMKi will be responsible for the successful realization of the project’s communication and dissemination strategy.