BARCELONA, Spain: The International Seed Federation (ISF) concluded a successful World Seed Congress 2022 – gathering more than 1,500 global seed professionals representing 400 companies and around 70 countries – to further promote innovation, international movement of quality seed, and to take steps to drive engagement with the value chain.
Meetings of 11 Coordination Groups, three Expert Groups, the Board of Directors and the Secretariats of the National Seed Associations also took place the week before the congress and the day after, as industry experts tackled key topics on science and innovation, market access, business practices, and communications.
“For the past 200 years, science has delivered innovations that have extended life expectancy from just 26 years old in 1820 to 73 years in 2020,” said Donald Coles, past president ISF, during the opening ceremony.
Michael Keller, Secretary General, ISF: “The seed sector needs to take a leadership role in transforming the world’s food systems. We’ve made some important leaps and we need to keep acting to fulfill our vision of a ‘world the best quality seed is accessible to all, supporting food security and sustainable agriculture.”
“In Spain, it has been necessary to redirect the sunflower seeds destined to Ukraine to sow the fallow lands across Spain to avoid the lack of sunflower oil next season. It is just an example of the battles we face, with the ultimate purpose of feeding humanity,” said Julian Arnedo, Chair, Spanish National Organizing Committee.
Dutch seedsman and business leader Marco van Leeuwen has succeeded Donald Coles as President of ISF.
Speaking at the General Assembly, Van Leeuwen recognized the tremendous work done in the last two years to restructure the association and bring more expertise into the newly formed Coordination Groups and Expert Groups.
He said: “It is important to realize our new journey has just started. Many things still need to be worked out and many challenges are ahead of us. Today we are facing massive turbulence in our sector: enormous inflation, extreme energy prices, a war in Ukraine, and quite a lot of other geopolitical and climatic challenges.”