EU Plant Passport obligation („EU-Pflanzenpasspflicht“) endangers the preservation of traditional fruit and vegetable varieties.
Therefore, we demand an exception from the Plant Passport obligation for all those sustaining the diversity of cultivated plants. For centuries we – gardeners and farmers – have preserved the diversity of cultivated plants by gathering seeds and other reproductive material of old and rare cultivars, sending it to interested people. Our conservation work is at risk because of Regulation 2016/2031/EU, which forces us to issue a plant passport for sharing our seeds. Before being able to issue a plant passport, one has complete a costly authorization process, first.
We fear that many won’t go through this procedure and give up their valuable work of conservation.
Access to free seeds and the right to pass on our seeds must not be restricted.
In the course of the evaluation of Article 79 of Regulation 2016/2031 EU, we are calling for exemptions from the obligation to issue plant passport:
· We call for a general exception for people and organizations involved in the preservation and distribution of cultivated plant diversity in horticulture and agriculture.
All those who produce seeds themselves and share small quantities of these seeds with others, should be exempt from having to issue plant passports.
· We demand that the exception should also apply to so-called "distance selling" (mailing).
The crossing of national borders must not play a role in the definition of distance selling, since this is inconsistent with the principle of free movement of goods in the EU.
· We demand: No registration obligation for guardians of cultivated plant diversity! Also, passed-on seeds that are not multiplied in a commercial way must be exempt from the plant passport obligation.
The culturally important conservation work and the quality of this work should be promoted by the state through various types of incentives. Under no circumstances should it be restricted by bureaucratic or financial hurdles.
By preserving and increasing biodiversity in the area of cultivated plants, we prevent the spread of plant pests. Small-scale cultivation of different plant species/varieties and regular crop rotation provide natural barriers against the spread of plant pests.
We note: Plant pests are especially a problem of monoculture cultivation on an industrial scale; this problem must not be treated at the expense of diversity and the preservers.
We therefore ask that you support our petition and take our concerns forward.
ArchemitZukunft & “unverblümt”, www.archemitzukunft.net
campaign for seed sovereignty, www.saatgutkampagne.org
ÖBV Via Campesina Austria, www.viacampesina.at
URKORN TIROL, www.urkorn.tirol
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) recognizes the right to seeds as a human right and, at the same time, obliges the international community to recognize this right and to guarantee free access to seeds. ("The right to save, use, exchange and sell their farm-saved seed or propagating material." Art. 19)
The state and supranational phytosanitary regulations of the supply of seeds and planting material must also observe and recognize these rights in accordance with Article 19 UNDROP. Phytosanitary regulations must not restrict the right to seeds.
Who are the “Sustainers of Diversity”?
Sustainers produce seeds and plant materials that are ordered and forwarded according to seed sovereignty for sustainable and permanent use, for further propagation, for testing the adaptability to the location, as part of the continuation of the craft of traditional seed nursery and rural conservation breeding. Many, but not all, sustainers are organized in networks or associations.
The proceeds from the work hardly cover the costs incurred. There are narrow limits to the commercialization of conservation work, as the recipients of the seeds and plant materials continue to propagate the varieties themselves and therefore will not order every year.
The work of the conservationists and their associations, which is geared towards the common good in many respects, and their previous role in the containment of plant pests, must be recognized in the plant health legislation. No further economic or bureaucratic obstacles must be placed in the way of the sustainers and their associations.
EU regulation 2016/2021 on plant health: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32016R2031
AGES - information on plant passport requirements: www.pflanzenschutzdienst.at/binnenhandel-neu/faqs-plant-pass-new/
Thank you for your support. Florian Walter, Pöls AUSTRIA