Why we do what we do

Do you presume that all organic food comes from organic seeds? Unfortunately, today's reality is still different. 80% of organic farmers and organic gardeners use conventional seeds, simply because they lack organic ones. We want to change that! Our association, Living Seeds, promotes the diversity of fertile organic seeds. Seeds that will bring about healthy plants and fruits which delight with good taste and high nutritional value – without genetic modification and without any chemical fertilisers or pesticides.

Southern Europe needs more "living seeds"

In most places, organic plant breeding and seed production is still in its infancy. We understand the plant as a part of its environment. And we want to enable it to optimally adapt to it – without losing its value. Central and Northern Europe import a lot of organic food from Southern Europe, but so far, hardly any organic plant breeding takes place in the South. These countries are traditionally rich in fruits and vegetables with a distinctive taste, beauty and seductive fragrants. They connect us to the warmth of the South and allow us to remember the feeling of summer vacations. In view of climate change and globalisation, high-quality organic seeds - “living seeds” - are required to preserve the cultural organic heritage of these countries. Seeds that produce healthy, delicious organic fruits despite the increasing heat, droughts and pests.

Organic plant breeding is not for free

However, the development of organic and biodynamic seeds takes time and costs money. It takes 5 to 10 years for a new variety to be officially registered in the seed register and costs between € 40,000 and € 100,000. Knowledge, skills, labour, and land must be financed. Organically bred plants do not grow under clinical, artificial conditions, but within their natural habitat, and are protected and strengthened exclusively with biological and biodynamic preparations. But who can afford this - especially in rural southern Europe? This is exactly where our association Lebende Samen e.V. comes in. We initiate and finance research projects in the Mediterranean that aim at breeding nutritious and resistant organic plants for healthy yields – in harmony with nature.

Our activities include

  • Fundraising from individuals, foundations, national governments, and from the European Commission
  • Organic and biodynamic plant breeding programmes (e.g. participatory plant breeding)
  • Close networking with research institutes, farmers and commercial organic seed companies
  • Publicity and training programmes

A video by FiBL, engagement.biobreeding and bioverita that explains, why organic plant breeding needs our support.

Concept  – Mariateresa Lazzaro (FiBL), Monika Messmer (FiBL) and Georg Kußmann Animation/Produktion /// Speaker - Joanna Lemonnier /// Illustration - le chmuule /// Sounddesign/Music - Elisabeth Sommer /// Consultancy - Hauke Brekenfeld (Kombüse GmbH)