Growers unite to protect their seeds

The Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA) and Soil association (SA) has been launching a Seed Savers’ Network for farmers and growers in the South West an the weekend of October 11 to 12, 2014. This regional network will be the first of many launched around the country with the aim of empowering farmers and growers to breed their own seed and develop appropriate, locally adapted varieties.

This initiative comes in response to the steady loss of appropriate seed for small-scale production and increasing moves at the European level to further concentrate control over our plant genetic resources to corporate interests.

Daniel Burston, a grower in Devon said: “For thousands of years farmers all over the world have been creating, preserving and renewing seed diversity by breeding and saving from the plants in their fields.  The diversity of agricultural seeds and the freedom of farming communities to have control over them is fundamental to our food sovereignty.”

“With this network we are creating practical on-farm solutions to rebuilding our agricultural biodiversity. Now we need political will to support these initiatives rather than continuing to sell the common inheritance of our seeds to the highest corporate bidder!”

The LWA campaigns for farmers and growers to have rights to obtain seeds from their own harvests, to breed and to distribute them.

The LWA is an official member of the international peasant farming movement La Via Campesina that represents 200 million small-scale producers around the world. We campaign for the rights of small-scale producers and lobby the UK government and European parliament for policies that support the infrastructure and markets central to our livelihoods.