LIVESEED – Improving the performance of organic agriculture by boosting organic seed and plant breeding efforts across Europe

LIVESEED aims to improve the performance and competitiveness of the organic sector by boosting organic seed and plant breeding efforts. To increase the availability and choice of organic seed, LIVESEED will

(i) harmonize the implementation of legislative requirements and develop an EU-wide router database tool for seed suppliers,

(ii) develop improved cultivar testing systems, organic seed health and quality strategies, best practices for organic seed multiplication, and new variety testing protocols for the registration of cultivars for the organic sector,

(iii) develop novel breeding concepts, selection tools, and genetic resources,

(iv) explore plant-microbe interactions,

(v) initiate new breeding networks to close major gaps for legumes, cereals, vegetables, fruit trees and fodder crops,

(vi) identify bottlenecks in the organic seed market,

(vii) develop business and governance models for breeding and seed production,

(viii) engage stakeholder groups for knowledge exchange, practical training, and capacity building, and

(ix) provide recommendations based on synthesis of LIVESEED outcomes.

The innovative multi-actor and -action research approach (‘learning by doing’) of LIVESEED ensures a broad and fast implementation of the project outputs across Europe. The LIVESEED consortium represents a multidisciplinary European partnership involving 48 organisations (35 partners + 13 third linked parties) and >30 stakeholders from 16 EU countries and Switzerland, including researchers, breeders, seed producers, organic associations and retailers. Combining scientific and practical knowledge will enable the consortium to generate innovative solutions adapted to the needs of endusers for different pedo-climatic and socio-economic contexts. The main outcome will be an improved breeding efficiency and a greater choice and uptake of organic seed derived from resilient cultivars to optimize organic and low-input agriculture and strengthen sustainable food production in Europe.