Like a lot of home gardeners, I grow a lot of traditional, open pollinated varieties, I save my own seed and buy heritage varieties from small seed companies like RealSeeds, MoreVeg and Kokopelli. I am also a member of HSL, Garden Organic's seed saving, membership organisation. I grow lots of different veg and find the diversity of seeds on offer to be very helpful in the changeable weather conditions we often experience, here in the UK. I also find they taste so much better than "ordinary" varieties.
The tomatoes pictured in my Lammas post are a good example!
But according to leading organic charities Garden Organic and the Soil Association, the choice of what crops are available for gardeners to grow has been dealt yet another restrictive blow,
"In a recent ruling in the European Court of Justice in Brussels(1) a small French seed company, seeking to defend its sales of old unregistered varieties of vegetables, lost its case. The company, Kokopelli, argued that the basis of the EU Marketing Directive was unlawful and curtailed the right to trade seed freely. However the court opposed this and ruled in favour of the current legislation, which restricts what seed can and cannot be marketed and sold."
Read the full article here
I suspect quite a few of the seeds I buy to grow will no longer be available to me after this ruling.
As Garden Organic and the Soil Association so rightly point out, every variety lost weakens our ability to create an effective food system that can cope with the increasing challenges of climate change and resource scarcity.”
Bob Sherman, Chief Horticultural Officer at Garden Organic said,
“It is disappointing that the EU has neglected to unravel this controversial Directive to give amateur gardeners freedom of choice. Very few people believe that trade in traditional and endangered varieties threatens the commercial seed world. Despite some recent slackening of the regulation of ‘amateur’ and ‘conservation’ varieties, it appears it is still possible for large corporate businesses to control the market with no hesitation in resorting to law against the minnows of the sector. Fortunately Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library is not a seed company and we will continue to work at protecting the availability of many ‘at risk’ varieties by allowing our supporters access to seeds.”I think this is a serious mistake on the part of the EU. I am not quite sure who to complain to about this - but surely there must be something we can do?
What do you all think?