FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Global Seed Network challenges corporate consolidation of the seed supply
WASHINGTON— Today, International Seeds Day, Center for Food Safety (CFS) has launched the Global Seed Network (GSN) – a groundbreaking new nonprofit peer-to-peer seed sharing platform to connect and unite people around the world who are preserving, protecting, and regenerating our global seed supply. The unique online community is an innovative take on the social network: members create a profile and share rare and heirloom seeds as well as information via an online forum with the ultimate goal of empowering small farmers and home gardeners to sustain diverse seed and plant varieties in the face of corporate control of the food supply and a changing climate.
“CFS’s new interactive Global Seed Network gives everyone – from hobby gardeners to 5th generation farmers – the means to take control of the seed supply and help secure our food future,” said Rebecca Spector, West Coast director of the Center for Food Safety, and Global Seed Network project director. “We are already seeing the impacts that corporate consolidation of seeds and a changing climate are having on our farmers and our food system—saving, growing and sharing seeds are critical to ensure food security for future generations. GSN will help facilitate a diverse and independent seed supply.”
The U.S. alone has lost 93% of its fruit and vegetable seed diversity in the last 80 years and, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), more than three-quarters of global agricultural crop diversity has been lost due to seed consolidation and industrial agriculture practices. Within the last decades, the world’s major agribusinesses and their governmental supporters have turned seeds into a corporate commodity. Five companies – Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, DuPont, and Syngenta – now own more than 60% of the global commercial seed supply. This corporate control of seed has not only decreased diversity, it has also led to worldwide seed price increases, threatening rural livelihoods and driving millions of farmers out of business.
The platform for CFS’s Global Seed Network will unite seed savers, allowing users to search for seeds based on climate, variety, location, or specific traits. The site includes detailed instructions on how to save seed; enables easy peer-to-peer seed sharing; has an online forum for people to share seed saving tips and ideas; includes a school curriculum for kids; lists relevant events and seed swaps; and much more.
“Seeds are the basis of our food and environmental security, and part of the sovereign heritage of native and traditional peoples everywhere. CFS’s seed sharing network is helping to connect seed savers across the country to create an independent and diverse seed supply. It’s an important step toward regaining control of our food system,” said Dave Henson, Executive Director of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center.
The site is now open for registration from new users who want to help create a sustainable and secure food future for all.
To explore and join the Global Seed Network, please visit globalseednetwork.org.