The Greens/EFA group presented a new study highlighting the concentration of the European seed market. In contrast with claims by the European Commission that market concentration is not a problem, the study revealed five companies (also producing agrochemical products) control more than 50% of the seed market, with major consequences for farmers, agro-biodiversity, innovation and food security.
In France 69% of the market is concentrated with 9 companies out of 246 surveyed in late 2013.
José Bové, Vice- President of the Commission of Agriculture :
« The Commission’s draft regulation is based on a contradiction : its provisions will not prevent the strong tendency towards further concentration of the market while provisions helping producers of farm-saved seed or small and innovative business are insufficient .
Furthermore, farmers’ rights are still not fully recognized to ensure the possibility to reproduce and sow seeds adapted to local needs through research working together with local farmers.
That is why the Greens present the study and call for the European Parliament to reject the EU project on seeds. This message must be heard by the Commission which needs to present a new and improved regulation taking into account the criticisms expressed in many amendments.
In addition, the European Commission’s competition authorities need to launch an antitrust investigation into the concentration of the seed market, just as has been done in the United States. Too much power in the hands of a few agrochemical seed companies will have negative consequences for farmers.
Today we need a great crop biodiversity by professional and amateur producers in oder to defend our food systems against climate change. »