Planting healthy seeds is the basis to growing a healthy crop.
Plant health is of particular importance for plant reproductive material (seed) as, unlike other plant products, seed is used as a planting material for further multiplication. If seed is infected with pests or diseases, these harmful organisms may be introduced to a place of production and spread within the growing crop. This may then need additional applications of plant protection products and can lead to severe yield and quality losses.
Europe’s plant breeders and seed producers develop the high quality seeds that are required for sustainable and competitive farming in Europe. Ensuring that seeds are healthy is the precondition for healthy crops and crucial for food security as well as sustainability, even more so in the context of climate change. Euroseeds fully supports the objective of protecting Europe’s environment and agricultural production against the introduction and spread of plant pests and diseases.
The European seed sector is the largest exporter in the global seed market, and as a result seed is moved across the world at all stages of production. It is not uncommon for a seed company, including SMEs, to run or collaborate in breeding programmes in 10-15 countries, to produce seeds in more than 20 countries in the northern and southern hemispheres and to distribute seed to farmers and end users in more than 100 countries.
Establishing clear and workable rules in line with relevant international standards and protocols is essential to maintaining Europe’s global leadership in seed exports and preserving Europe from the introduction and spread of harmful organisms. Operators, at all stages of production, processing and distribution under their control, are responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements relevant to their activities, as established by plant health legislation.
Recognition by competent public authorities of high levels of competence and awareness by the European seed sector about pest risks and monitoring systems to mitigate risks through inspections, sampling and testing is a key element to implementing a flexible but efficient plant health regime.
Strengthening the cooperation between public bodies and private operators involved in plant health research and development activities will also help to achieve the objective of safeguarding the European agriculture and environment.
Euroseeds is committed to support fair rules and proportionate requirements for all operators of plant reproductive material. This will ensure farmers’ access to healthy, high quality seed of the most suitable plant varieties. This will also facilitate the movement of seed, and safeguard the leading international position of Europe’s plant breeders and seed producers.
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