The 2018 Index aims to provide greater insight into company presence and the diversity of seed portfolios in developing regions.
On November 9, the Expert Review Committee (ERC) for the Global Index convened in Amsterdam to discuss the methodology for the 2018 edition. The ERC is composed of representatives from different stakeholder backgrounds who convene every year to provide advice on the Index and its methodology.
This meeting was preceded by a series of regional ERC meetings in Abidjan, Johannesburg and Hyderabad, during which the scope for each proposed Regional Index was discussed. The input from these meetings was presented to the ERC in Amsterdam.
The ERC began by commending the 2016 Index for its insights on company and industry practices, which underscore the importance of the seed sector in global food security. The Index has proven useful for multiple stakeholders, including the industry itself, to help inform decision-making and policy.
The ERC then reviewed the methodology for the 2018 Index. The committee commended the overall focus of the methodology, following a thorough review process over the past several month. The ERC agreed, among other things, that a diverse company portfolio is important for food security. It therefore strongly endorsed the recommendation to score companies higher for (1) having crops in their portfolio not generally considered their main field crops and (2) expanding their portfolio to include more vegetables and local crops. As a result, more targeted data on company presence and the diversity of seed portfolios in developing regions will be collected.
Feedback from the ERC was used to update the draft methodology, which was subsequently approved by the Supervisory Board on December 6.