How to build up your organic plant breeding business

How to build up your organic plant breeding business

Invitation:4 th Expert Workshop

“Let’s get real – how to build up your organic plant breeding business”

16 th -18 th of May 2018

Living Seeds-Sementes Vivas is hosting us at:

  • Herdade do Couto da Várzea, 6060-270 Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal

Workshop Objective

Developing first steps for setting up organic breeding networks or businesses in countries where organic plant breeding does not yet play a role. As organic plant breeding can usually not be paid by direct return from seed sales nowadays, funding strategies need to consider diverse potential funding sources.

Target Group

This workshop mainly targets individual organic farming operators with an interest and potential to engage in the organic plant breeding business organic food and farming organisations willing to engage in promoting organic plant breeding

What will happen?

A workshop of 1.5 days including 2 nights, divided into

  • 16 th : Welcoming dinner.
  • 17 th : Excursion in the fields of Sementes Vivas followed by presentations, workshops and dinner.
  • 18 th : Presentation – discussion – conclusions and lunch.


Wednesday 16th

Arrival at “Sementes Vivas”, Registration

  • 19.30 Welcoming Dinner
  • 9.10 Travel to the Sementes Vivas Farm
  • 9.30 A case study: Sementes Vivas, an organic seed startup in
    Portugal. Stefan Doeblin (Sementes Vivas) & Pedro Moreira ESAC-IPC & Amadeus
    Zschunke (Sativa Rheinau)

    • Field visit with explanations
    • Visit to the seed processing facilities
    • Discussion with founders and cooperating seed producers and operators (Project history, Financing model, Status quo, Future plans, Lessons learnt)
  • 13.00 Lunch
  • 14.30
  • Short summary of last POPBE-meetings’ findings: Status quo, chances and challenges of financing organic plant breeding in Europe. Andreas Biesantz & Antje
    Kölling, POPBE
  • 15.00 Strategies to increase the use of organic seed and organic bred cultivars and potential impacts on organic breeding – first findings from the LIVESEED project. Freya Schäfer, FiBL
  • 15.30 Participatory breeding and seed cooperations – how viable networks work in Spain. Maria Carrascosa, Red de Semillas
  • 16.00 Coffee break
  • 16.30 Workshops. Participants will work in 2-3 groups on the following tasks:
    • take the example of the country of one person present in your group
    • develop the cornerstones of a plan to fund and establish organic plant breeding in this country
    • note who needs to be involved, what needs to be clarified before start, etc.
  • 18:30 Reports from the workshops
  • 19.45 Dinner

Thursday 17th

  • 9.00 Start of the Session
  • 9.30 Conclusions and outlook: Future prospective for organic plant breeding in Europe. Edith Lammerts von Bueren, Louis Bolk Institute/ Emeritus Professor Organic Plant Breeding at Wageningen University
  • 10.30 Space for: (Different speakers of the participants)
    • presenting your project
    • discussing missing points
    • making contacts
  • 12:00 Bus to Castelo Branco and lunch

Join Us!

If you are interested in participating in this workshop, please click here and register until the
27th April. You will receive more information about accommodation and further conditions after your registration.

How to get there?

  • Option 1: To reach Idanha-a-Nova one has to travel by train to Castelo Branco. We will be there on the 16th of May to drive you to Idanha-a-Nova.
  • Option 2: Depending on the number of interested participants, a bus departing from Lisbon Airport on the 16th of May at 13.30 will take you to Castelo Branco. Please indicate in the registration form if you would use this option.

Main results of the series of workshops will be made available to a wider public via website,
emails and factsheets.

The project “Promoting Organic Plant Breeding in Europe“ is coordinated by the Demeter
International e.V. EU Liaison Office in Brussels and is supported by IFOAM EU Group.

Looking forward to meeting you there,

For any further questions please contact us at: