THE POLITICS OF ORGANIC SEED CERTIFICATION
WHOSE HARVEST? THE POLITICS OF ORGANIC SEED CERTIFICATION
A new briefing by GRAIN
Millions of farmers around the world practice what is often called organic agriculture and over a billion people get most of their food from these farms. Although only a small portion of these farms are certified as "organic" by outside agents and little of the food they produce is labelled organic, the global market for organic foods is growing -- as are the pressures for certification. Some argue that this organic market boom presents a big opportunity for small farmers, but there are clearly many challenges, and some fear that the existing organic certification systems are in fact doing the reverse -- setting the stage for big agribusiness to take over. Now these tensions are coming to a head with seeds.
Most of the world's organic farming is based on the wealth of seed diversity that farmers have created and sustained through generations of local seed exchange and improvement systems and traditional knowledge. But, today, new regulations governing seeds in organic farming, more attuned to the needs of seed corporations than seed savers, are popping up everywhere, with potentially devastating consequences for farmer seed systems.
This Briefing provides the first global overview of regulations concerning seeds in organic farming and assesses what such regulations mean to the future of organic farming and the millions of farmers who sustain it.
Click here to read the briefing: http://www.grain.org/briefings/?id=207
We have also provided an annex table with details of what various regulatory bodies from around the world say about organic seeds: http://www.grain.org/m/?id=167