The EU Green Deal and its Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies:
can plant breeding and seed innovation deliver?
The EU Green Deal and its Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies stipulate ambitious policy objectives that shall fundamentally impact agricultural businesses and value chains. Are these objectives realistic? And how do they fit with the EU’s policies on food security, the Internal Market, international trade and multilateral economic agreements? As significant conflicts of goals become apparent, the discussion on expectations, preconditions and consequences is now starting.
Euroseeds looks at those individual aspects that together will be decisive for the ability of the plant breeding and seed innovation sector to successfully contribute to a truly sustainable Green Deal.
07.30h – 20.00h
Euroseeds Exhibition Hall, Trade tables area and the Networking Lounge will be open.
08.30h – 10.30h Section Cereals and Pulses
Intellectual Property Rights
Fostering investment of industry in technologies and products that promote sustainability requires effective protection of such investment, specifically by suitable IP rights. At the same time, fast and broad market introduction of respective products relies on the practical access to such protected innovations. The session will specifically address the delicate balance between these different needs and interests:
“No protection, no investment – no access, no innovation”
10.30h – 11.00h Break
11.00h – 13.00h Section Oil and Fibre Crops
Plant Breeding Innovation
New technologies and innovative products may help to speed up the introduction of traits that support different sustainability criteria. But clearly, this also depends on possible regulatory, financial or other barriers that influence the uptake of such new methods by product developers and users. This session will provide an overview on both, the level of penetration some of the new technologies have meanwhile reached and what seems to hold back even faster market introduction:
“Innovation from Farm to Fork: A (Green) Deal or a “No Deal”?”
14.00h – 16.00h Section Forages and Grasses
In the Green Deal, the Commission emphasizes the need to develop a more sustainable food production system and has defined the increase of organic production to 25% of the EU’s total acreage as a pillar of its implementing strategy. This session will look at the drivers and limitations of the further development of organic farming:
“Give me 25! Making Organic Farming mainstream – or better not?”
16.00h – 16.30h Break
16.30h – 18.30h Section Maize and Sorghum
Pesticides and nutrients
Reducing pesticide and fertilizer use by 50% and 30% respectively are probably the most cited concrete objectives of Green Deal and its implementing strategies. This session will try to shed light on whether we can balance these goals with those of plant health and food security and what concrete measures may help to support such balance:
“Getting more from less:
how to support a reduction of pesticide and fertilizer use without losing out on food security and safety”
08.00h – 09.30h Section Potatoes
Seed security and seed diversity (1)
More than half of all productivity gains across crops is due to improved genetics and this share is expected to grow even further. The Commission has defined seed security and diversity as a specific goal for the Farm to Fork strategy. This session will relate this goal to the on-going evaluation of the EU’s seed marketing legislation, concentrating on the expectations and needs of professional seed users and seed suppliers:
“Quality seed for professional use – Seed as key input for commercial farming”
09.30h – 10.00h Break
10.00h – 11.30h Section Vegetables and Ornamentals
Seed security and seed diversity (2)
Building upon the discussion in the earlier morning session, the debate here will focus on possible specific needs or constraints of the seed supply for non-commercial users such as private and hobby gardeners. Is there really an issue with the availability of suitable seed? And if so, which parts of the existing rules have limited the development of supply and use of such material?
“Quality seed for private use: Does it need new rules for hobby gardeners?”
11.30h – 12.00h Break
12.00h – 13.00h Assembly General, Statutory Part; Members only
14.00h – 16.00h Assembly General, Open Part
Based on the presentations and exchanges in the different sessions, the discussion in the Assembly General will try to look at the overall direction of the EU’s Green Deal, how realistic its objectives really are and what means may be at the EU’s disposal to resolve some of the conflicts of goals with other strategic policy priorities.
What is it that the seed sector is expected to contribute to this? And what does it need to live up to those expectations?
“Making the Green Deal work for agriculture and the environment:
The role of plant breeding”
09.00h – 13.30h Section Vegetables and Ornamentals Working Group Integrated Companies; Members only