Anita HayesFounder of Irish Seed Savers
Anita Hayes was born in the American Midwest and moved to Ireland with her husband Tommy Hayes in 1989. During her studies in Ecological Agriculture at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington she was shocked to learn of the risks to food security through the loss of genetic biodiversity and began to focus her studies in this area. Inspired by the Seed Savers Exchange in Iowa in the US, Anita found that there was no similar organization in Ireland. Acutely aware of the importance of the work, she decided to just give it a go in Ireland and founded Irish Seed Savers Association in 1991.
Fulya BaturConsultant, facilitator and trainer
Fulya Batur – Consultant, facilitator and trainer specialising in international environmental law, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources, access and benefit-sharing legislation, intellectual property rights, seed laws and agricultural policy
Katherine DolanHead of policy at ARCHE NOAH
Maurice DeasyBrewer Arable Farmer
Maurice Deasy farms in partnership with his father Ruaidhri in northwest Tipperary on a 120 acre mixed farm of sheep and tillage. Crops grown include heritage Irish grains to preserve their genetic diversity and maintain their heritage. Processed and malted on-site these heritage grains are made into a single source farm house beer, in their brewery on the farm, Canvas Brewery, established in 2019 with Maurice’s brother and two friends. Off farm, Maurice is a post-doctoral researcher with Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority.
No patents on seeds – workshop with Irish stake holders to safeguard access to seeds for breeders and thus food sovereignty
Main objective of the workshop
The aim is to inform Irish stake holders (NGOs, growers, policy makers, media,…) and LLD participants about the current threats of patents on free access to seeds for breeders and farmers and on food sovereignty. We’d like to get the stakeholders active against patents on seeds on a national and European level.
Short description of the workshop
In the last couple of years, we see an increasing number of patents on conventional breeding even though they are prohibited. Nevertheless, the European Patent Office keeps granting patents on melon, lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, etc. putting at risk the work of European breeders and our food sovereignty by giving more and more control to big seed companies who apply for those patents. Together we want to discuss what steps are needed on a national and European level to stop patents on seeds.