What have rare and old varieties got to do with politics? The answer is: a lot. Parliaments and governments set the rules of action on fields, garden beds and markets. Therefore, ARCHE NOAH is actively advocating for better laws. We stand up for a policy that promotes biodiversity, ensures healthy and tasty food and protects the rights of small-scale farmers.

A voice for diversity

Should "Caesar Friedrich" abdicate? This bean variety is one of countless rarities in the ARCHE NOAH seed archive. According to the EU seed marketing legislation, it is not standardised enough for the seeds to be sold. It must remain a “niche” product.

However, spreading such rare crops is very important: the industrialisation of agriculture has entrenched the standardisation of fruit, vegetables, and grains and led to a huge loss in diversity.

In addition to seed marketing legislation, patents and new breeding techniques also threaten diversity. We therefore need to campaign in Austria and Brussels. Seed policy must safeguard diversity, promote healthy food and the rights of small farmers.


ARCHE NOAH's international partners

Our network reaches all over Europe. Through cooperation, we can simply achieve more.

United in diversity – the European Union’s motto also applies to ARCHE NOAH’s international network. The seed initiatives in Europe work differently, spread many different crops, and face different challenges. Yet we are working towards the same goal; our aim is to bring diversity back to gardens and fields, and to maintain diversity where it already exists.

“Old varieties” are undergoing a Renaissance, especially in countries affected by the economic crisis. Dozens of organisations are cooperating and learning from each other in the fields of conservation work, documentation, education, and policy. At the same time, ARCHE NOAH is also involved in several EU diversity projects.