The year 2010 will be decisive in the debate about intellectual property rights concerning seeds. The EU wants to pass seed legislation that is uniform throughout Europe. In the future, will just industrial varieties be available on the seed market while regional and farmers varieties will be found only in museums and show gardens? All signs indicate that seed corporations are using the revision of the seed law to expand their power further. The EU directive on conservation varieties and non-industrial varieties complicates or forbids the propagation of old varieties due to geographic and quantitative restrictions.
In the last few years, seed initiatives in many European countries have teamed up and organized across borders under the banner of “Let’s liberate diversity!” They are defending farmers’ rights to sow seeds from their own harvest, to breed them and to pass them on. European seed initiatives from ten countries have prepared counterproposals and want to vote on them together in Graz as well as make connections in the European-wide network of resistance.
This year’s meeting is taking place in Austria in order to strengthen cooperation with Eastern European countries, yet everyone who is interested in the subject and who would like to become active is invited.