International treaties and agreements that deal with genetic resources and ‘Access and Benefit Sharing’ require companies to keep track of where they source their genetic resources used in breeding programs.
Experts gathering to discuss indicators for the ‘Genetic Resources’ measurement area of the coming Access to Seeds Index therefore advocated for an indicator that assesses whether companies have a ‘track and trace system’ in place. Although discussions on the best way to organize Access and Benefit Sharing are still ongoing, such a system would be a basic requirement and a good indicator to demonstrate whether companies are well prepared for such arrangements.
The Access to Seeds Index is laying the groundwork for a new cycle of data collection and analysis, starting with the development of a revamped Methodology. This Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meeting on 9 May 2017 was one of the steps in revisiting the methodology. The TAG brought together experts from various relevant backgrounds:
- Gloria Otieno, Associate Expert on Genetic Resources and Food Security Policy; Bioversity International
- Rob Huijten, Head of Law, Patents and Compliance; Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds
- Bram de Jonge, Seed Policy Officer; Oxfam Novib
- Bert Visser, Former Director; Center for Genetic Resources NL
- Kees van Ettekoven, Senior Policy Advisor, Naktuinbouw