Michael Keller delivers his speech at the joint ISTA-ISF Forum in Cambridge on July 5.
Michael Keller delivers his speech at the joint ISTA-ISF Forum in Cambridge on July 5.

The International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) and the International Seed Federation (ISF), celebrating 100 years of collaboration, reinforced their commitment to enhancing global food and nutritional security with a landmark event in Cambridge, UK, the birthplace of both organizations.

Cambridge, UK (July 5, 2024) — Two global organizations celebrating their 100th anniversary this year held today a joint forum highlighting their shared dedication to the advancement of the global seed sector. The forum underscored the critical role of high-quality, environmentally suited seed varieties in building resilient food systems for a rapidly growing global population amid escalating climate challenges.

At the forum, ISF and ISTA reaffirmed their commitment to working together and with other international organizations, including the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Farmers Organization (WFO), among others.

Discussions focused on anticipating future global requirements for high-quality seeds, considering the diversity of crops needed to adapt to changing environmental conditions, and integrating new technologies to overcome production and seed quality assessment challenges.

Call for the importance of quality seed

Looking ahead, ISTA and ISF recognize the imperative for even stronger cooperation and synergy in their operations to continue enhancing quality seed for farmers. Quality seed is the essential starting point for sustainable agricultural production.

“By enhancing our collaborative efforts, we will continue our vital work in ensuring food security for today’s and future generations, honoring a century-old legacy while looking forward to new horizons in agricultural development,” said Keshavulu Kunusoth, ISTA President.

“More than ever, we are determined to continue our contributions to building sustainable food systems that can withstand climate change and nourish an ever-increasing global population,” Keshavulu shared.

“Together, ISTA, ISF, and the global network of seed companies and affiliated organizations are united in their commitment to maintaining and continuously enhancing seed quality which is an essential layer for innovation and sustainability,” said Michael Keller, ISF Secretary General.

“We will continue ensuring the availability of improved varieties and making them more accessible to all farmers and growers worldwide. We invite all stakeholders in the seed sector to join us in this critical endeavor,” Keller added. 

About ISTA

ISTA, established in 1924 by governmental laboratories now has both government and private sector members. ISTA is government led and stands at the forefront of developing and implementing comprehensive internationally agreed methodologies for seed quality assessment. This ensures the distribution and utilization of seeds that meet the highest quality standards, facilitating optimal crop establishment. Recognizing the direct link between seed quality, agricultural productivity and sustainable livelihoods, ISTA's work is pivotal in minimizing crop establishment risks, thereby safeguarding farmers' investments, and enhancing the global food supply. ISTA’s work is also essential to preserve and give greater value to plant biodiversity and areas of natural species, which are increasingly endangered.

Website: https://www.seedtest.org/en/

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About ISF

ISF is the voice of the global seed industry. It has represented the interests of its members since 1924 and represents 96% of the international seed trade today. With a global reach extending to members around the world and official observer status in intergovernmental and international organisations, ISF is uniquely positioned to assist in the development of government policy and business strategy.

Website: https://worldseed.org, https://100years.worldseed.org

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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/worldseedfed/