ISTA Holds Annual Meeting 2018 in Japan

ISTA Congress 2019 To Be Held in India

Bassersdorf, Switzerland (July 11, 2018) - The International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) was delighted to host its Annual Meeting in collaboration with the National ISTA Designated Authority of Japan from June 11-14, 2018.

The venue chosen for this occasion was the Emisia Hotel in Sapporo, Japan. This year, the Annual Meeting was followed by an ISTA Workshop “Quality Assurance and ISTA Accreditation for Beginners”. The workshop was organized together with the Centre for Seeds and Seedlings, NARO (NCSS) and ISTA, it was held from June 19-21 in Tsukuba city, Ibaraki, Japan.

The participation was high for an ISTA Annual Meeting. We are very proud to report that the meeting was attended by 178 participants from state and public sector, and included participants from universities, companies, seed industry and governments, representing in total 38 countries.

The meeting commenced on June 10 with the registration of the participants in the afternoon and followed by a welcome reception in the evening. On the following day, June 11, ISTA President Craig McGill opened the meeting by welcoming everyone present for the ISTA meeting.

After the opening of the meeting, the ISTA Seminar Validated vigour tests and the scientific basis of their development organized by the ISTA Vigour Committee chaired by Alison Powell was held.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the technical committees presented their work. The schedule was filled with presentations, poster session and side meetings. A half-day session was dedicated to the Rules Proposals which were later discussed and voted on in the Ordinary Meeting.

On the last day, the Ordinary Meeting was commenced with a welcome from the ISTA President Craig McGill and Mr. Atsushi Suginaka, Director, Intellectual Property Division, Food Industry Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan.

The ISTA president expressed his appreciation for the invitation from the national Designated Authority. During the opening session Mr. Tomohiro Kondo, representative of Japan Seed Trade Association (JASTA) gave a presentation about Seed Industry in Japan and Mr. Mukuka from COMESA gave an update on Status on COMESA Seed Harmonisation Programme (COMSHIP).

Following on from the ISTA President’s address, and the Roll Call of the Designated Members entitled to vote, the Executive Committee and the Secretary General presented their reports. The fixation of the annual subscriptions and the consideration and adoption of the reports of the Technical Committees was the next item on the agenda. Thereafter, the proposed changes to the International Rules for Seed Testing 2019 were up for debate and voted on by 28 Voting Delegates, voting on behalf of their country.

The consideration and adoption of Rules was followed by the announcement of next year’s Ordinary Meeting. This will be the Congress 2019 and will take place in Hyderabad, India, from June 26 to July 3, 2019. The presentation on the Congress was given by Mr. Keshavulu Kunusoth and was followed by the presentation on the venue of the 2020 ISTA Annual Meeting in Verona, Italy by Rita Zecchinelli.

At the closing address of the meeting by the ISTA president, he expressed his gratitude to the organizers in Japan for all their dedicated work on behalf of the Association. He also thanked everyone for the very intensive and productive meeting and invited everyone to the 32nd ISTA Congress to be held in India.

To conclude, we would like to thank everyone for their participation in this year’s ISTA Annual Meeting 2018. Furthermore, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all speakers, exhibitors, and participants for the successful meeting. A special thanks also goes to the ISTA staff for their tremendous work and effort.

The ISTA Annual Meeting 2018 was an unforgettable experience and very fruitful in terms of lively discussions and decisions made. All the hard work ultimately contributed to the success of this year’s meeting. You can find the presentations given at the annual meeting together with further information about the Annual Meeting 2018 on the ISTA web site.


Founded in 1924, with the aim to develop and publish internationally agreed rules for seed sampling and testing, accredits laboratories, promotes research, provides international seed analysis certificates and training, and also disseminates knowledge in seed science and technology. ISTA members are over 85 countries/distinct economies worldwide and they work together to achieve their vision of 'Uniformity in seed quality evaluation worldwide'. This facilitates seed trading nationally and internationally, and also contributes to food security.