History & recent developments

Saatgut-Tausch, selbstgewonnenes Saatgut von ARCHE NOAH ErhalterInnen (c) Doris Steinböck

Colourful diversity, not standardized uniformity!

The rules for cultivated plant diversity are being renegotiated - the EU seed marketing legislation

The problems due to the current EU seed marketing legislation - lack of coherence, complex, rigid and expensive procedures and a drastic loss of plant genetic resources during the past decades (according to the FAO, worldwide minus 75% since 1990) – motivate the EU to update the existing legislation on the production and marketing of plant reproductive material.

In 2014, the attempt to further strengthen industrial seed standards on the cost of agrobiodiversity and hinder the seeds exchange between farmers and gardeners was defeated thanks to a Europe-wide campaign. Now we face a new proposal by the EU Commission.

ARCHE NOAH is doing its utmost to enforce the rights of farmers to own their own seeds and exchange them with others and to bring rare and traditional varieties back to our fields, gardens, and tables. Diversity has to be enabled to become mainstream, industrial standards should be optional! No more legal restrictions on small quantities, small packages, niches, and overwhelming bureaucracy. Together with seed conservation actors from all over Europe we work to free agrobiodiversity from its bureaucratic constraints.

This work is supported by Software AG Stiftung as part of the project ‘Gemeinsam Vielfalt befreien' (Together we free diversity)

How to make organic plant breeding mainstream

9th November 2021: Organic plant breeders celebrated their 20th anniversary in Brussels to discuss with stakeholders and policymakers the necessary changes to boost organic plant breeding to support the European Green Deal Strategy and climate change adaptation. The Arche Noah team joint the conference to furthermore discuss the upcoming seed marketing legislation.

To read the full FiBL report click here.


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Here you will find information on how you can take action.

ARCHE NOAH (Noha’s Ark), a seed savers’ organisation based in Austria. Together with its 14,000 members, it works for a new seed marketing regulation draft that is sustainable and inclusive.