Land Trust Landscape 11

Supporting farmers and the grass seed sector

Seed working group for organic sector

The organic sector has a dedicated seeds group for businesses and farmers with an interest in grass and forage seeds.

The group meets annually to review non-organic seed authorisation data and Defra's land area statistics from the previous year. Issues facing the sector including changes in organic regulations and market conditions are also discussed. Seed companies share in confidence information on upcoming availability which complements the Organic X Seeds database. Liz Bowles, chairperson of the group  commented that the aim of the group is to support licensees through ensuring that adequate quantities of appropriate seed varieties are available when needed.

This year the group agreed to meet at the Barenbrug research site near Evesham. This allowed them to find out more about the trials being conducted at the site which include grass trials for persistence as well as disease resistance.

Every year the group reviews the current arrangements for the % organic inclusion rate and agreed that the current arrangements are working well for the sector in the UK.