History & Mission
Organic Seed Alliance’s mission is to (OSA) advance ethical seed solutions to meet food and farming needs in a changing world. We accomplish our mission through research, education, and advocacy work that closely engages organic farmers and other seed professionals.
In 2002, the USDA National Organic Program implemented the organic seed rule requiring that organic producers use organic seed when available. As a result, the organic seed market expanded and demand for organic seed production and breeding education grew. OSA was formerly operated as Abundant Life Seed Foundation, a non-profit seed business. In 2003, a tragic fire resulted in the loss of Abundant Life Seed Foundation’s seed collection. At that time, the board of directors launched OSA as a separate nonprofit organization to support the growing organic seed movement and the Abundant Life Seed catalog and business were sold.
OSA now has a long track record of serving as one of the leading organic seed institutions in the US. Each year, OSA educates thousands of farmers and other agricultural community members, conducts professional organic plant breeding and seed production research on multiple crops, and advocates for national policies that strengthen organic seed systems.
We believe seed is both our common cultural heritage and a living natural resource fundamental to food production. Proper stewardship of our plant genetic resources involves their conservation and careful management in a manner that allows seed to continually evolve with challenges of the envi- ronment, cultural practices of sustainable agriculture, and the need to feed people. Our vision is an or- ganic food system that is built on a foundation of seed well-adapted to the regional climatic conditions in which it is sown.
Our research expands access to high-quality organic seed through research, development, and com- mercialization. We engage in participatory plant breeding projects that support organic seed systems and address regional and national seed and food needs.
We provide education and training that expands the foundation of organic seed systems. This includes providing technical assistance in plant breeding and seed production to farmers, students, seed com- panies, and others through workshops, consultations, and publications.
Our advocacy work promotes actions and policies that support the availability and integrity of organic seed by confronting the concentrated ownership of seed and protecting farmers’ rights as seed stew- ards. We engage in policy initiatives, discussions, and research at the national level.
Learn more at www.seedalliance.org