Seed Matters Principles
People have saved, selected, and improved seed for thousands upon thousands of years. Seed is the repository for crop genetic diversity, and the foundation of agriculture and food security. It’s a shared legacy. As such, the following principles guide our programs, activities, policies, and investments in seed systems:
- Seed is a public resource – it must be managed in a manner that benefits the public good, including an equitable system that rewards investments in seed improvement, while not restricting innovation or prohibiting seed saving for on-farm use or research purposes.
- Plant genetic diversity must be maintained and improved to sustain farming systems that meet the evolving food, feed, and fiber needs of communities around the world, including challenges posed by a changing climate.
- It is critical to protect farmers’ rights to save, plant, improve, and sell seed as a foundation of crop genetic diversity and food security.
- Public and private sectors have a social responsibility to protect seed from contamination by transgenic technologies, concentrated ownership of patents, and all other activities that negatively impact the viability and long-term resiliency of seed systems.