ESA European Seed Association

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ESA European Seed Association
European Seed Association logo.gif
Abbreviation ESA
Formation November 2000
Type Non-profit trade association
Purpose Representing members in the plant breeding, agriculture, and biotechnology industries
Headquarters Brussels, Belgium
Region served
European Union, European Economic Area
Nigel Moore
Secretary General
Garlich von Essen

The ESA European Seed Association is a trade association for the seed industry in the European Union and the European Economic Area. An umbrella organization of national seed associations and individual seed companies, their members represent all aspects of the European seed industry including research, plant breeding, and the production and marketing of seeds of agricultural, horticultural and ornamental plant species. It was founded in November 2000 and was granted the legal status of international non-profit International Association (AISBL) according to Belgian law in April 2002. Its headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium.


Following increasing inter-organizational cooperation begun in 1998, four separate European seed trade associations were merged into a single organization, the ESA, in 2000. They were COSEMCO (seed trade, founded in 1961), ASSOPOMAC (potato breeders, founded in 1964), AMUFOC (forage seed production, founded in 1970) and COMASSO (plant breeders, founded in 1977).

Functions and scope of activities[edit]

According to the ESA's mission statement, it is "the voice of the European seed industry and represents companies and national organisations active in research, breeding, production and marketing of seeds of agricultural, horticultural and ornamental plant species."[1] The ESA serves as a lobby group for all seed industry-related issues in the European Union and European Economic Area and specifically on:

It also works on collective problems of its membership such as market access in other countries.

ESA represents the European seed industry via the European institutions (European Commission, European Parliament, Council of Ministers) as well as the EU's Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) and numerous European and international bodies and organisations.

Observer status[edit]

The ESA has been granted observer status with the following organizations:[citation needed]


Each year in October, ESA holds its Annual Meeting and the European Seed Trade Meeting which is attended by around 900 participants from industry as well as policy makers, representatives of the European Commission, the EU's Community Plant Variety Office, and international organizations such as UPOV, FAO OECD, the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA).[2]


European Seed Association (ESA) represents over 100 members out of which 35 are national seed associations from EU Members States and the wider Europe. Next to these association members, ESA's membership also comprises 52 individual direct company members, both multi-national as well as specialised small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and 24 associate members from seed related industries, media and academia and from outside of Europe.[3]

ESA presidents[edit]

2000–2003 Anthony Keeling, Elsoms Seeds Ltd. (UK)
2003–2006 Sten Moberg, Svalöf Weibull (Sweden)
2006–2009 Francois Desprez, Florimond Desprez (France)
2009–2012 Christoph Amberger, KWS Saat AG (Germany)
2012–2015 Gerard Backx, HZPC (the Netherlands)
2015–2018 Nigel Moore, KWS SAAT SE (UK)


  1. ^ ESA European Seed Association. ESA Mission Statement
  2. ^ ESA European Seed Association. ESA Annual Meeting
  3. ^ ESA European Seed Association. Members

Further reading[edit]

The following contain material on the activities of the ESA:

External links[edit]