The mission of the ISF is to facilitate the international movement of seed, related know-how and technology; to mobilize and represent the seed industry at a global level; to inform its members; and to promote the interests and the image of the seed industry.
In order to fulfil its mission the ISF promotes strong co-operation among national and regional seed associations. It endeavours to work in partnership with organizations responsible for international treaties, conventions and agreements and those that shape policies that impact the seed industry.
What We Do
Seed is the basis of agriculture. The seed industry plays an increasingly vital role in the global pursuit of sustained development and well being of the planet and its people in an environmentally responsible manner.
Apart from its traditional role of being one of the major contributors to sustainable food production, the seed industry is now also at the forefront of developing technological innovations and alternative uses for plants as renewable sources of bio-energy, bio-materials, and plants that will provide food and feed of increased nutritional and even medicinal value to humans and animals. The industry is highly competitive, ensuring an efficient and responsible global seed trade that offers farmers a continuous supply of new high-yielding varieties suitable for different environmental conditions, and for producing crops and products that will continue to meet changing consumer demands and the concerns of civil society.
To cope effectively with the challenges brought about by increased globalisation, environmental and health issues, regional trade groupings, new technological advances as well as farmer and consumer sophistication, the seed industry needs a representative forum to research and discuss important issues, adopt positions, and represent and promote its interests at a global level. The ISF is involved in the following fields:
Represent the seed industry at intergovernmental organisations such as:
- OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)
- UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants)
- ISTA (International Seed Testing Association)
- IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention)
- FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN)
- CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity)
- WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
and others that have an impact on the international movement of seed. ISF defends the general interests of its members, notably in improving the conditions of international seed trade and strengthening intellectual property rights worldwide.
Organize annual congresses, bringing together up to 1500 seedsmen to:
- Exchange information on recent developments in seed trade and plant breeding
- Identify mutual concerns, enable strategic thinking and discussion on issues, and adopt common positions
- Meet customers and suppliers to negotiate business contracts
- Trade rules that clarify and standardize the contractual relations between buyers and sellers at the international level
- Provide procedural rules for dispute settlement in the areas of trade and intellectual property
- Internal communication: publication of congress reports, a quarterly newsletter, seed trade statistics, etc. for members
- External communication: publication of leaflets on the contribution of the seed and plant breeding industries to sustainable agriculture
- Internet: regular updates of the web site