The ISF World Seed Congress is the ISF flagship event which brings together the principal architects and decision makers of the global seed industry.

Visit WSC 2020 websiteThe ISF World Seed Congress 2020 will be held in Cape Town, South Africa. More than 1100 seed industry professionals are expected to gather to discuss the global issues facing the seed industry.

ISF World Seed Congress 2016 - The Natural Way Forward in Business & Life

Punta del Este in Uruguay played host to the 67th International Seed Federation World Seed Congress which attracted more than 1000 people from 64 countries who came together for four days in May. At the Federations’ flagship event (15-18 May 2016), delegates came together to collaborate on solutions to the challenges facing the global seed industry through panel discussions, plenary sessions and roundtable events. ISF’s annual congress also provides a unique opportunity for building business networks and boosting international trade. In his opening ceremony speech ISF President Alvaro Eyzaguirre described ISF as “a powerhouse that pushes the seed industry forward” and praised the work of the ISF Secretariat and ISF members for “harnessing and channeling their energy to champion change where it matters” which he said had been facilitated by the increased sense of purpose provided by the new ISF Mission and Vision, launched at the 2015 World Seed Congress. Echoing this, ISF Secretary General Michael Keller described ISF’s proactive approach to establishing a clear position in five priority areas in line with the ISF Strategic Objectives, as agreed by the Board of Directors in October 2015. Michael framed the seed industry’s responsibility as a story which starts with the conservation and use of genetic resources through innovation in plant breeding, and ends with the movement of seed around the world to support sustainable agriculture and contribute to food security.

Taking the stage, Uruguyan Vice Minister of Agriculture Mr Enzo Benech highlighted the opportunities created by the ISF World Seed Congress to establish and strengthen relationships, and raise the region’s profile – particularly with the addition of the ‘Spotlight on South America’ thematic day to the Congress program (19 May).

Historic moments of this year’s Congress include the Presidential changeover from Alvaro Eyzaguirre (2014-2016) to Jean-Christophe Gouache. Past President Mr Tim Johnson (2012-2014) received Honorary Life Membership for his outstanding contribution to the International Seed Federation. Read their profiles on the Executive Committee page of our website.

Highlights of the meetings include the panel discussions which generated some lively debate at the open meeting of the Breeders Committee. On the plant breeding innovation panel were speakers from the international grain and produce industries alongside private and public breeders who provided their perspective on the importance of innovation in plant breeding and the potential impact of public policy. The panel on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources discussed the Treaty’s standard material transfer agreement.

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1111 attendees from 60 countries – including delegates, exhibitors and accompanying persons – a record for South America.

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