The Seed Sovereignty UK & Ireland Programme goes online

It’s been almost four years since we organised The Great Seed Festival in London, to celebrate the seeds that feed us. It was here, as activists, foodies and farmers gathered together at the Garden Museum on the southbank, that an idea took root which has the potential to change the face of seed production in the UK and Ireland. Inspired by a Canada-wide programme on seed security, the Seed Sovereignty Programme was born. The aim is simple: increase the amount of agro-ecological (organic and open-pollinated) seed being grown and sold here in the UK and Ireland.

It’s estimated that just 3% of the seed produced in the UK is organic, that is, produced without chemicals and fertilisers. That means that the vast majority of products stacked on shelves and in markets labelled ‘organic’ are not grown from organic seed in the first place. There is a glaring break in the cycle from soil to gut and we are embarking on a journey to close it. What’s more, with five experienced regional coordinators based across Wales, Scotland, Ireland and east and west England, we are working closely with farmers, seed producers, horticulturists and trained and commercial growers in order to conserve threatened varieties and to breed more varieties for future resilience. We believe that a food revolution starts with seed.

A source for all things seed

On the new  dedicated Seed Sovereignty website you’ll find a growing library of resources relating to all things seed. Whether you’re looking for a local supplier of organic seed, want to train in seed saving or are grappling with seed legislation, we hope that this website provides you with a useful stepping stone and supports you in your journey.

Our five Regional Coordinators are based across the UK and Ireland so please do get in touch via the website to find out more or to connect with a Coordinator in your area.

We have also created a series of beautiful short films with filmmaker Jason Taylor to show the importance and pleasure of seed saving. Hear from Ashley Wheeler at Trill Farm, Fred Groome from Vital Seeds, Kate MCevoy from Real Seeds and farmer and activist Gerald Miles, an active member of the Landworkers Alliance.

We hope you find the new website useful and please do get in touch with any comments or queries.