Global collaboration is the key to creating the best possible environment for sustainable agriculture and food security, a record attendance at the World Seed Congress was told.
The 2015 International Seed Federation (ISF) congress attracted 1600 delegates from 64 countries to Krakow, Poland – the highest number in its 66-year history.
At the opening ceremony ISF Secretary General Michael Keller unveiled the federation’s revised vision, mission and values, which will form the basis of its five-year Strategic Plan.
- Vision: A world where the best quality seed is accessible to all, supporting sustainable agriculture and food security.
- Mission: To create the best environment for the global movement of seed and promote plant breeding and innovation in seed.
- Values: Collaboration, Integrity, Innovation, Sustainability
“ISF is changing –the environment in which we operate is not the same as it was 50, 20 or even 10 years ago,” said Mr Keller as he paid tribute to the 90 years of work his predecessors have contributed to the seed industry.
Illustrating the global movement of seed with a self-penned sketch, Mr Keller said that seed was moving around the world more than ever before, and that plant breeding was becoming increasingly efficient and effective. “We have a lot of challenges,” he said, “and the role of ISF is to turn these challenges into opportunities.”
Since his appointment as ISF Secretary General in June 2014 Mr Keller has implemented a strategic approach across ISF’s committees, sections and groups whose action plans are focused on tackling some of the key issues including plant breeding and innovation, harmonization of phytosanitary measures, intellectual property protection and seed applied technologies.
Mr Keller emphasized the importance of fostering global collaboration and building alliances with stakeholders worldwide to create the best possible environment for sustainable agriculture and food security.
In his keynote address ISF President Alvaro Eyzaguirre, the federation’s first South American President, brought to life the Congress theme of ‘Sharing Passion for Nature’, describing the shared passion, pride and purpose across the seed sector.
Representing the host nation, Director of the Department for Plant Breeding and Plant Protection Boguslaw Rzeznicki welcomed delegates, expressing his certainty that the Congress would help establish and strengthen relationships between global representatives of the seed sector and the Polish seed industry.