Research projects



Contract Period : 01/10/2022 - 30/09/2026

Project Webpage :

Main Funder : Horizon Europe (Innovation Action), the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation and UK Research and Innovation

ORC Staff Contact : Charlotte Bickler

ORC Wakelyns Population

Project Aims:

LIVESEEDING will contribute to the upscaling of organic production in Europe through:

  • Improving availability of organic plant reproductive material of organic cultivars of a large range of crops, bred for improved diversity and adaptation to local conditions, and
  • Strengthening and diversifying the organic seed sector informed by market demands.

LIVESEEDING contributes to the transition towards environmentally friendly, climate-neutral, healthy, and fair food systems through further development: 1) cultivars suited for organic and low external input production; 2) novel governance models linking breeders with value chain actors and citizens with local food production, and 3) awareness around the importance of biodiversity for our food and health. LIVESEEDING addresses the topics in a holistic multi-actor, multi-stakeholder participatory approach. It focuses on the 3 main drivers for change: 1) the supply and 2) the demand of organic seed and cultivars, and 3) enabling frameworks and roadmaps through active policy dialogue with national and European authorities and policymakers. LIVESEEDING provides science-based evidence and best practice solutions to achieve 100% organic seed.

While European legislation already requires the use of organic seeds in organic agriculture, the continued granting of derogations for non-organic seeds discourages entrepreneurship in organic seed. Horizon Europe will provide much-needed resources to leading sector organisations in LIVESEEDING to overcome the practice of derogations and make organic seeds a reality in Europe. Also for the first time, the new EU regulation has set a definition for ‘organic varieties’ and recently published implementing directives as regards derogation for the release of organic plant varieties suitable for organic production Directive (EU) 2022/1647 and Directive (EU) 2022/1648.

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ORC's Role:

ORC will help facilitate the uptake of Organic Heterogeneous Material (OHM), such as the ORC Wakelyns Population (YQ), on the market and provide inputs for adjusting testing and registration protocols, in the framework of the European Commission’s temporary experiment on organic varieties registration. For post-registration cultivar testing, ORC in conjunction with Organic Arable, will lead on advancing on-farm cultivar evaluation and help to implement a European interactive platform for on-farm trials based on participatory organic networks across Europe.

ORC will also work to develop business models and business plans for SMEs in the organic seed and breeding sector to scale-up and consequently increase profitability of the sector. On-farm demonstrations will strengthen knowledge sharing and cooperation between the different actors, stakeholders, value chain partners and consumers.

Current progress highlights:

LiveSeeding meets up in Poland

Project leader and partners:

LIVESEEDING is coordinated by FiBL Europe and brings together 37 partners covering 16 European countries – 14 EU countries, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

More here

ORC Team involved with this project

Principal Researcher and Knowledge Exchange Manager – Crop Diversification
Head of Research
Research and Field Assistant