Organic Seed Alliance advances ethical seed solutions to meet food and farming needs in a changing world.
We envision organic seed systems that are democratic and just, support human and environmental health, and deliver genetically diverse and regionally adapted seed to farmers everywhere.
Seed is part of our common cultural heritage – a living, natural resource that demands careful management to meet food needs now and into the future. Organic Seed Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that advances ethical seed solutions to meet food and farming needs in a changing world.
Each year we educate thousands of farmers and other agricultural community members, conduct professional organic plant breeding and seed production research, and advocate for national policies that strengthen organic seed systems. Our most recent State of Organic Seed report (2016) is part of an ongoing project to monitor the status of organic seed nationally and provides a roadmap for increasing the diversity, quality, and integrity of organic seed available to US farmers.
OSA has a fifteen-year track record as the leading organic seed institution in the US.
CONFRONTING SEED CONSOLIDATION
Over the last four decades, the seed industry has consolidated, and much of our commercial seed is now owned and managed in the hands of a few transnational firms. Intellectual property practices (e.g., utility patents on seed) stand out as a major cause. This control has stifled innovation in plant breeding, and creates barriers to improving the availability and integrity of organic seed.
OSA works to address consolidation through regional seed networks that result in transformative change at the national level. Our collaborative research projects emphasize diversity, ecology, and shared benefits. Our educational efforts build the base of knowledge necessary for stewarding seed and enhancing diversity through on-farm plant breeding and seed production. And our advocacy work promotes the benefits of organic seed while simultaneously confronting threats.
OSA grew out of Abundant Life Seed Foundation, a nonprofit seed conservation program and catalog business. In 2003, a tragic fire resulted in the loss of Abundant Life Seed Foundation’s extensive seed collection. At that time, the board of directors launched OSA as a separate organization to support the growing organic seed movement. The Abundant Life Seed Foundation business was sold.