The development of an independent organic breeding and seed sector poses a significant challenge for organic agriculture in Europe. It should deliver cultivars suitable to the principles and conditions of organic farming and secure the integrity of future product supply. This study seeks to identify promising pathways to address this challenge by analyzing value chain organization. It is based on a mixed method approach combining the assessment of qualitative data from a stakeholder dialogue with an analysis of quantitative farm survey data. The results from the stakeholder dialogue show that a value chain partnership is a promising strategy to distribute the burden for refinancing breeding, as the whole organic sector would profit from organic breeding. A cross-sector pool funding strategy is proposed for joining forces among all value chain partners of the organic sector to invest in organic breeding and collectively secure the integrity of the future organic product supply. Four success factors have been identified: a long-term commitment, a pool fund for organic cultivar development, awareness-raising on the importance of breeding, and a high level of transparency in the process. The funding strategy is backed up by findings on market channels. Farmers who market their products through long value chains use less organic seed than those marketing through short value chains. This highlights the need to better integrate long organic value chains such as processors, traders, and retailers, and seed supply. Regardless of the marketing channel, farmers consider the development of organic breeding a vital measure to achieve higher organic seed use. This indicates that overcoming organic seed shortage is more likely to be achieved when also including breeding activities.
Sow what you sell: strategies for integrating organic breeding and seed production into value chain partnerships / Winter, E.; Grovermann, C.; Aurbacher, J.; Orsini, S.; Schafer, F.; Lazzaro, M.; Solfanelli, F.; Messmer, M. M.. - In: AGROECOLOGY AND SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS. - ISSN 2168-3565. - 45:10(2021), pp. 1500-1527. [10.1080/21683565.2021.1931628]