UK seed industry urged to do more

All involved in the seed industry must do more to protect the future, said Chris Guest, Chairman of the Agricultural Industries Confederation’s Seed Sector speaking at the Annual AIC Seed Trade Dinner in London.

He outlined how the past year had seen challenges, particularly the loss of seed treatments.

“We must all do more to protect the industry that we form part of,” said Mr Guest, “We must learn to be proactive, rather than re-active in terms of promoting the good that we do, whether this is through modern plant breeding technologies and methods or through seed treatments; even right back to the basics of feeding the population.

It takes years and huge investments from breeders and chemical companies alike to bring products to market. We must champion these products, but also champion good stewardship, rather than sitting back and assuming that things will go on as normal.”

ESTA – the European Seed Treatment Association’ quality assurance scheme has an important part in ensuring seed treatment and treated seed meet the regulatory requirements. Mr Guest welcomed the growth in membership over the past year to 16 processing businesses operating over 24 sites.

“I hope to report further growth in the year ahead. Membership demonstrate that as an industry we can demonstrate best practice without further legislation,” said Mr Guest.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.