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Sowing the Future - Harvesting Diversity

No Patents for the Seed Industry!
Seeds must remain part of the Commons!

Sign the petition online!


printing version

web version

Invitation to the action days in Brussels

Invitation to the seed-swap

Registration for Brussels

Graz declaration” of 2010

La Via Campesina, 16.3.2011:
Peasant Seeds: Dignity, Culture and Life. Farmers in Resistance to Defend their Right to Peasant Seeds

Free our seeds!

International Days of Action
Brussels, 17-18 April 2011

Days of action in Portugal:

17./18. April:Day of action in Poland – more than 100 events for the preserving of seeds:

Supporter of the international days of action

from Belgium:

Nature & Progrès
Le Début des Haricots
Rencontre des Continents
Réseau des GASAP
Les amis de la terre
FIAN Belgium
Le Centre liégeois du Beau Mur
La ferme du Hayon
Mouvement des objecteurs de croissance
La Bande de Gasath
Collectif 123
SOS Faim
Associations 21
Oxfam Solidarité
Terre & conscience
Collectif Artivist
Reclaim The Fields
magasins du monde OXFAM
Comité pour le respect des droits humains "Daniel Gillard"
Maison des Cultures et de la Cohésion Sociale
Les Jardins de Pomones
Tuinbouwbedrijf Akelei
les Vers Tiges au Balcon

from Europe

Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL, D)
BUKO-Kampagne gegen Biopiraterie (D)
Compagnie Mai Mun (A)
Forum civique européen
Hofkollektiv Wieserhoisl (A)
JANUN Göttingen (D)
Longo Maï – coopérative européenne
ÖBV – Via campesina Austria
Via Campesina Europa
Gentechnikfreies Europa

Let‘s meet in Brussels!


Tens of thousands of people throughout Europe are actively demanding that the right to produce seeds remains in the hands of small farmers and gardeners. A diversity of crops has nourished mankind for thousands of years. Seeds that we have inherited from past generations are the basis of life and are essential for food sovereignty.

The big seed trusts are determined to obtain worldwide control. This has been made clear by genetic engineering, patents on plants and animals, the introduction of seed reproduction fees… Add to that terminator technology that destroys the fertility of seeds and the prohibition of peasant varieties. We must prevent the very basis of our food supply from becoming a source of profit for multinational companies.

Two years ago we launched the petition „Sowing the future-harvesting diversity“ to protest against planned new European Union seed laws that are dominated by the interests of the big seed companies.

We intend to present the tens of thousands of signatures collected throughout Europe to the European Parliament and call for an enquiry to clarify whether these laws violate the fundamental right to food and to access to seeds.

We invite you to participate in two days of action during which we will make clear our opposition to EU policies and our intention to resist against them.

Come to Brussels! We are not prepared to accept that the basis of our livelihood is handed over to multinationals. In the future we intend to maintain and pass on the heritage of our plant varieties.

The main event will take place on 17 April, the day of international peasant resistance declared by Via Campesina, followed by a demon-stration on the 18th.

If you cannot come to Brussels, organise similar events in your countries, cities and villages!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

11.00 -18.00 „Maison des Cultures et de la cohésion sociale de Molenbeek-Saint-Jean”, Chaussée de Merchtem 67, 1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean

International Seed Swap and
multilingual exhibition on seeds

Through this seed swap we want to draw public attention to a practice that has become increasingly widespread throughout Europe over the past few years and that could be made illegal by the planned EU laws.

16.00 -19.00 Molenbeek Cultural Centre

Conference with presentations and debate
„Access to seeds is a human right“

Activists from India, Turkey and several European countries will describe the situation concerning seeds in their countries and the consequences of the planned EU laws.

19.00 – 24.00 Molenbeek Cultural Centre

Music and films, dance and demo workshop

popular kitchen” of the „collectif du 123”

Monday 18 April 2011

10.00 -13.00 „Mundo B”, Rue d'Edimbourg 26, 1050 Bruxelles


Getting to know each other, exchange of experience and knowledge, discussions on collective work on seeds and the maintaining and multiplication of plant and crop diversity in gardens and fields.

15.00 -17.00 Demonstration

Demonstration to the Brussels offices of seed companies and their lobby organisations

Please contact us if you want to take part in these events and in the growing resistance against the monopolisation and privatisation of seeds !

Download PDF

Seedy Sunday 2010 in Brighton:

Photos by Dan Johnson Photography

Invitation to a

seed swap and exchange of know-how

Brussels, Sunday 17 April 2011

Within the framework of two days of action, an international seed swap will be organised with the aim of circulating all kinds of hardy and reproducible seeds and exchanging information, experiences and know-how on the production of seeds.

This event will bring together many initiatives which already exist in various countries. It will give them an occasion to present their activities and to establish links between us. This has become all the more urgent in view of the fact that European and international laws and regulations, either already in force or in preparation, could very well hinder or even prohibit such seed swaps.

Our main objective is to encourage the practice by farmers, amateur and professional gardeners of exchanging and giving seeds. This ancient tradition could be adopted by all people who are aware of the loss of diversity of varieties and of the risk posed by the growing privatisation of life-forms. We are witnessing a serious erosion of theoretical and practical knowledge. We want to look at ways of drawing attention to this danger and of passing this know-how on to a wider public.

To achieve this, we must use all means at our disposal!

Bring whatever you can that you think is appropriate to this event : seeds, exhibitions, slide shows, brochures, documents, films… Proposals for workshops (production and extraction of seeds, awareness building on gardening and agriculture…) or exhibits (vegetables, fruit, seeds, cereals or other collections of biodiversity…) will be welcome. Help us to awaken all our senses!

During the morning of Monday 18 April there will be time for meetings and discussions between all those interested in getting to know each other better. We would like to imagine together how experience and know-how concerning seeds can be passed on. Do you have training or pedagogical tools or methods which could be shared by others? In your opinion what would it be important to develop and in what form? Would you be ready to participate in the elaboration of such tools? Do you want to suggest other subjects for discussion on Monday morning?

Practical aspects

For the seed swap, send us an exact list of what you need: space, tables, electricity, exhibition panels… If you cannot take part, you could send seeds that you are ready to share with us. The more seeds there are, the more diversity will be distributed. We ask you only to bring naturally produced reproducible varieties (no F1 or F2, GMOs, GMPs) with no risk of unintentional crossbreeds between varieties.

We will send you a more detailed program once it is available.

By nature seeds are nomadic,
let us help them to travel!

Download PDF:

Longo Maï Seed-exhibition and excange in Païs Alp 2009, Provençe:

Participants (11-04-2011):

  • Les jardins de Pomones (Belgium)

  • Deccan Development Socity (India) – cancelld :(

  • Irish Seed Savers Association

  • Kokopelli (Belgium and France)

  • Gartenbaubetrieb „Akelei“ (Belgium)

  • De Godin“ Essbare Landschaften (Netherlands)

  • Bifurcated Carrots (Netherlands)

  • Longo Mai (France and Germany)

  • Scandinavian Seedsavers

  • Heritage Seed Library (England)

  • Peliti (Greece)

  • Schloss Freudenberg (Germany)

  • Tom Wagner (USA) – table display only!

  • De Velt (Belgium)

  • International Coalition for the Protection of the Polish Countryside (ICPPC)

  • Naturalni (Poland)

  • Poland free of GMO”

  • Keyserlingk Institut (Germany)

  • Kaiserstühler Gärten (eventuell) (Germany)

From March 25. to 27, 2010, 160 representatives of the European seed networks gathered in Graz, Austira, for the 5th European Seed Meeting “Let’s Liberate Diversity!”. They included groups that work on the conservation, use and distribution of plant diversity, civil society organizations, gardeners, breeders, and men and woman farmers from over 20 countries. (...)

Graz Declaration: Freedom for Diversity


We demand:

  • the right to obtain seeds from our own harvest, to re-sow, distribute and sell them;

  • the promotion of diversity in all regions by supporting conservers and breeders of varieties that can be re-sown;

  • the prohibition of genetic modofication technologies in agriculture;

  • the prohibition, without exceptions, of patents on plants and animals, their traits and genes, as well as patents on breeding methods;

  • a new agrarian policy, which, instead of supporting energy-intensive industrial production and monocultures, promotes biodiverse and ecological production.

These demands are directed toward Member States and the European Institutions.

The participants of the 5th European Meeting in Graz, March 2010.

Download complete declaration as PDF

Crop diversity is the result of human actions all over the world that created it. It is a common good and it belongs to everyone. Access to diversity is fundamental for our daily bread and for achieving food sovereignty. In many regions of the world men and women farmers still continue to produce, exchange, and sell their own seeds.

Seed laws in Europe are to be changed in 2011. The seed industry wants to extends its intellectual property rights and the patenting of crop varieties. It lobbies for stronger control and even the prohibition of farmers' non-registered varieties.

10 companies, among them Bayer, Monsanto, Syngenta and Limagrain, already control 67% of the world seed market. They no longer want to miss out on the rest of the market when they could impose their registered varieties - which usually only thrive with the help of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation - upon the rest of the world. However, it is not these genetically homogenous industrial seed varieties which will be able to feed the world in the future, but the diverse, regional varieties which are able to adapt to climate change.

The negotiations for the new European seed law are taking place behind closed doors, among representatives of the seed industry and EU bureaucrats. This does not lead us to expect a positive outcome. In order to influence the new seed laws we want to raise public awareness for our goals.

We demand:

  • the right to produce our seeds from our own harvests, to re-sow and to give them to others;

  • to encourage regional crop variety by supporting the men and women who keep and breed organic varieties;

  • to forbid genetic technologies in agriculture;

  • to exclude patents on plants;

  • to forbid GMOs and varieties that require intensive chemical use;

  • to end high energy inputs in agriculture which are the result of monocultures, long transport routes as well as industrial crops that require chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

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5th Meeting of the European Seed Network
Let's liberate diversity"
Graz, Austria
25 -27 March 2010