Some of the EU seed legislation dates back to 1966 and is distributed very differently among different crop groups. After the European Commission's legislative proposal for the reform of EU seed law was rejected by the European Parliament in 2014, the Commission has again set itself the goal of reforming EU seed law. This reform process was re-initiated with a Commission seed study published in April 2021 (SWD(2021) 90 final, 8287/21) and is to include an impact assessment in 2022 (publication planned for 3Q 2022) and a concrete legislative proposal (planned for the end of 2022), which will then be discussed at EU level. In addition to general harmonisation and simplification, current European strategies (Green Deal, Farm-to-Fork, climate change strategies, forestry strategy, etc.) and organic farming are to be taken into account in the EU seed law reform.
In order to support the Austrian authorities in the negotiations, the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics and Mining Research has prepared a basic study on the Austrian seed industry. Within the framework of a detailed sector analysis, the study is to cover, among other things, the flow of goods (import/export), the multiplication and reproduction of seeds and seedlings, the use of varieties (origin), as well as the value chain (number of jobs, structure of farms, required inputs and own inputs, interconnections with other sectors), and the development of international trends in this sector. In addition to a breakdown of the results according to the most common types of crops and the type of farming (conventional/organic), a focus will also be placed on the area of vegetable seeds, as there is still little literature available in this area in Austria. Relevant stakeholders (AGES, associations, chambers, companies in the seed industry, NGOs) will be given the opportunity through interviews to actively participate in the reform process with their knowledge and to bring together their analyses, assessments, forecasts and challenges as a basis for argumentation for the negotiations at the European level.
Status of the work
In 2022, basic research on the Austrian seed and planting material industry was carried out according to sub-sectors of crop production (cash crops, vegetables, fruit, wine). In addition to the review and collection of technical literature, statistics and databases, a large part of the working time was spent on establishing contacts and exchanging information with experts from administration, research and industry. Based on the available information and the identified data gaps, a questionnaire guide was developed, which, in addition to filling data gaps, should also capture the current mood and enable an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the sector. At the same time, the technical implementation of an online survey was examined and various software packages were considered.
Planned work in 2023
For 2023, it is planned to complete the survey as soon as possible and to compile the interview results with all the information and data collected in a final report. In advance, the most important research results are to be sent to the client in the form of a working paper. It is also planned to exploit the results in the form of publications and presentations at relevant events (e.g. ÖGA conference).
Project start: 04/2022
Project end: 12/2023