New Report Shows Organic Seed is Gaining Ground

Organic Seed Alliance released its latest report, State of Organic Seed, 2016, in June. Based on farmer surveys, discussions at grower conferences, and a comprehensive analysis of publicly funded research, Organic Seed Alliance found:

  • Organic farmers are using more organic seed and are happier with organic seed quality than in the past.
  • Since 2011, public and private investments in organic plant breeding and organic seed research have increased from $9 million to $31 million.
  • More organic farmers than before believe that organic seed is the foundation of organic food integrity.

At the same time, challenges remain. Enforcement of the organic seed requirement is inconsistent among organic certifiers. Also, few resources exist to support certifiers and inspectors, including a fully utilized national organic seed database.

Federal organic standards require that certified organic farmers plant certified organic seed unless it is not commercially available. The organic seed sector is small, however, and many farmers experience difficulty sourcing adequate supply of certified seed.

Organic Seed Alliance offers a number of recommendations to address this issue, including increased public and private investment in organic seed research and additional training for organic farmers in organic seed production.

The report is available for free download.