The week of Monday 3rd December is Seed Week 2018 - an initiative led by The Gaia Foundation and its Seed Sovereignty Programme for UK & Ireland to celebrate open pollinated, organic seed from Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland.
Seed Sovereignty interviewed our managing director David Price on his thoughts. Here's a short excerpt....
I guess my passion is really for diversity and that is what has fired my enthusiasm for open pollinated seed and seed sovereignty. I have worked all my life in ecological systems where diversity is effectively nature’s programming language – without it natural systems breakdown. My work on nature reserves allowed me to see how establishing the right conditions enables natural habitats to be restored and enhanced as nature takes over. I believe this is the process that is now required for farming systems.
There is a wide appreciation of the losses in biodiversity. What is less understood is that there have also been huge losses in the numbers of varieties of our food crops and the genetic diversity that goes with them. Particularly within vegetable seed there has been a big change over recent decades towards the use of F1 hybrid seed that is well suited to large mechanised and chemical based agribusiness, but this also leads to less genetic diversity through the methods of in-breeding in parent lines that provide short-term advantages for intensive cropping. We have to remember that we are dependent on natural systems; this is our life support system. Food is obviously a big part of that and through our farming practices we need to enable a natural diversity on which we depend.