Access to Genetic Diversity.
The consolidation of seed resources and massive loss of genetic diversity is counteracted by organic seed producers. Over the last century thousands of local varieties of seed have disappeared. The Food and Agricultural Organizations of the United Nations estimates that nearly 75% of genetic diversity has been lost during that time (www.ifoam.org). The consolidation of the US seed industry continues at an alarming rate with much of the seed industry controlled by 6 big companies. We need to maintain a healthy, vibrant organic seed industry to offer growers and consumers a choice.
Stronger Seed, Stronger Crops.
Varieties suited to local conditions are more biologically diverse. Their regional adaptation makes them robust− seed farmers can select varieties of plants that perform well under local ecological conditions and pressures from disease, pests and climate. Such selection and breeding will strengthen the organic community by building a sound foundation for organic agriculture with independent seed resources adapted to the unique requirements of organic productions such as low inputs. Varieties suited to organic conditions are carefully bred and identified by skilled organic seed growers for unparalleled performance in the field, and also for other desired traits like increased nutritional value and taste.
Conventional Seed Farming Uses More Chemicals.
Seed crops are often in the ground longer than food crops requiring more applications of chemical pesticides and herbicides. Also the allowance for chemicals used on conventional seed is much higher because seed is considered a non-food crop. This means more chemicals are applied over a longer period of time than anything else we grow−contributing to the degradation of biological diversity and human health. Organic seed matters to everyone who produces and eats organic food.