Nov 15, 2023
Organic Seed Alliance celebrates 20 years
The Organic Seed Alliance is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with a revitalized mission and vision statement, plus a new approach to seed work.
The Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) serves growers through three program areas: collaborative research on crop improvement and seed production for organic systems; education on the agronomic, economic, and socio-political elements of seed work; legal and cultural advocacy toward policies that support organic agriculture and farmers’ rights to save seed, according to a news release.
The group emphasizes relationship building and network development across program areas.
- Break up “Big Seed” — stop seed industry consolidation.
- Remove barriers to seed saving and research by challenging restrictive forms of intellectual property rights.
- Confront the climate crisis by promoting public plant breeding, decentralized seed systems, Traditional Ecological Knowledge and organic practices as solutions.
- Achieve equitable participation in seed systems by advocating for policy initiatives that decentralize power in agriculture and advance equity and justice.
- Ensure that public research supports the common good by supporting public research in organic plant breeding and seed initiatives prioritizing challenges faced by seed producers and establishing community-university partnerships.
- Expand public seed collections via the National Plant Germplasm System, addressing a backlog of seed regeneration, protecting genetic diversity and ensuring equitable access.
- Enhance the integrity of the organic label, helping producers meet regulations, and clarifying support or disapproval of specific plant-breeding methods.
- Address GMO concerns in the organic and non-GMO seed sector, advocate for strong federal policy reform to level the playing field, promote true “coexistence” between GE and non-GE farming systems.
- Support state-level seed initiatives to fill gaps at the federal level and strengthen protections for organic and non-GE seed and seed growers.
A 2023 strategic framework focuses on the OSA’s role as a convener, regional strategies and the need to deepen equity in the organization and community.
To celebrate its 20-year milestone, OSA is highlighting “vital” program areas: education, outreach, advocacy and research.