Seed Sovereignty

Seed Sovereignty: Seeds of Hope

Seed Sovereignty is a Programme from The Gaia Foundation supporting a biodiverse and resilient seed system & small-scale seed production across Britain & Ireland.


With a team of regionally based coordinators responding to local needs and landscapes, they are increasing the amount of agro-ecological seed being sown and grown.



Around the world today, seed diversity is threatened. Yet it is critical for ensuring a secure and resilient food system that serves both people and the planet. There has never been greater urgency to protect and restore global seed diversity, in the hands of farmers, not corporations.


“Seed Sovereignty reclaims seeds and Biodiversity as commons and public good. The farmer’s rights to breed and exchange diverse Open Source Seeds which can be saved and which are not patented, genetically modified, owned or controlled by emerging seed giants”. Lexicon of Food


They are Nationally Led, Locally Driven and are made up of friendly and committed team of Seed Sovereignty Programme Coordinators. Based in South West, South East and North East England, and in Scotland, Ireland and Wales. They are working closely with small-scale market gardeners and seed producers, community groups and land workers to create the conditions for a diverse seed system to thrive. 


Together with their partners they have been supporting diversity and knowledge revival by:


– Offering training to learn the skill of seed saving and to support commercial growers to diversify their businesses through small-scale agro-ecological seed production.


– Supporting community groups and growers dedicated to conserving diverse varieties of vegetable seed, oats or grains. Reviving the related knowledge associated with these varieties through research and intergenerational learning.


– Encouraging local seed initiatives and connecting up seed saving networks across Europe and around the world through peer to peer learning exchange.


– Educating the general public and influencing policy makers about the need for diverse, open-pollinated seed, where to buy them and how to support small-scale producers through fair legislation.


– Organising variety trials and participatory plant breeding for future resilience.



It's clear that Seed Sovereignty stands at the forefront of a crucial movement, reclaiming seeds and biodiversity as commons and a public good. Their impact reverberates through various dimensions:


  1. Preservation of Biodiversity: By championing open-source seeds that are not patented or genetically modified, Seed Sovereignty actively contributes to preserving biodiversity. This approach safeguards traditional and diverse seed varieties that are resilient and adapted to local ecosystems.


  1. Farmer Empowerment: The organization champions farmers' rights to breed and exchange seeds, fostering a decentralized and farmer-centric approach. This empowerment allows farmers to play an active role in seed selection, cultivation, and exchange, promoting agricultural diversity and resilience.


  1. Community Collaboration: Operating with a nationally led, locally driven philosophy, Seed Sovereignty collaborates closely with small-scale market gardeners, seed producers, community groups, and land workers. This collaborative approach creates a network where knowledge is shared, and local communities actively contribute to the preservation of seed diversity.


  1. Resilient Food Systems: Seed Sovereignty's work contributes to building resilient and sustainable food systems. Diverse seed varieties enable crops to adapt to changing environmental conditions, reducing the reliance on monocultures and enhancing the overall resilience of agriculture.


Why Seed Sovereignty's Services are Needed:


  1. Preserving Agricultural Heritage: In the face of industrial agriculture and the dominance of patented and genetically modified seeds, Seed Sovereignty fills a critical gap by preserving and promoting traditional, open-source seeds. This protects the agricultural heritage of communities and ensures the continued availability of diverse seed varieties.


  1. Mitigating Dependence on Corporatized Seeds: The emergence of seed giants and the corporatization of seeds pose a threat to food sovereignty. Seed Sovereignty's emphasis on open-source, non-patented seeds helps mitigate dependence on corporate-controlled seed sources, providing farmers with autonomy and control over their agricultural practices.


  1. Weather Resilience: With the weather posing challenges to agriculture, diverse seed varieties adapted to local conditions become imperative. Seed Sovereignty's focus on open-source seeds contributes to the development of climate-resilient crops, ensuring sustainable food production in the face of environmental uncertainties.


  1. Empowering Local Farmers: Seed Sovereignty empowers local farmers by promoting their rights to breed and exchange seeds. This empowerment strengthens local agricultural systems, enhances food security, and fosters a sense of community ownership over seed resources.


How to Support Seed Sovereignty:


  1. Financial Contributions: Donations play a crucial role in supporting Seed Sovereignty's initiatives. Financial contributions help fund research, outreach programs, and the overall operation of the organization, enabling them to continue their impactful work.


  1. Spread Awareness: Increasing awareness about the importance of seed sovereignty and the work of the organization is vital. Individuals can contribute by sharing information on social media, organizing community discussions, or participating in events that highlight the significance of preserving seed diversity.


  1. Volunteer Engagement: For those passionate about sustainable agriculture and biodiversity, volunteering with Seed Sovereignty provides an opportunity to contribute directly to their mission. Volunteers can support outreach efforts, community engagement, and educational programs.


  1. Advocacy: Individuals can advocate for policies that support seed sovereignty and farmers' rights. Engaging with local and national policymakers to promote regulations that protect open-source seeds and biodiversity is a powerful way to support the cause.


In supporting Seed Sovereignty, individuals contribute to the resilience and sustainability of our global food systems. By championing the principles of open-source seeds and biodiversity, Seed Sovereignty paves the way for a more equitable, diverse, and resilient agricultural future.

Find Us

Seed Sovereignty, The Gaia Foundation 2023, 44 Grand Parade, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 9QA
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


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