EMSA: European mobile seed association

EMSA is the organisation advocating the interest of mobile seed processors at European level.

What are mobile seed processors

Mobile seed processors are the professionals who, with an adequate technical equipment and the necessary know-how, allow farmers to replant their own seed. They are therefore promoting the benefits of farm saved seed for the competitiveness of the European agriculture, the biodiversity and the rural economy.

What is EMSA

EMSA, European Mobile Seed Association, is a non-profit organisation advocating the interest of mobile seed processors at European level. It is has been established on 15 December 2010 by the National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC-UK), Syndicat des Trieurs à Façon de France (STAFF-FR) and Landbouwservice (B). It is based in Brussels and is governed by Belgian law. After the constitutive general assembly, the board has elected Nigel Day (NAAC-UK), President and Sylvain Ducroquet (STAFF-FR), Vice-President.

The official recognition as a non-profit organisation under Belgian law by the authorities took place on 2 March 2011. On 23rd May 2011, EMSA has been registered in the European Register of Interest representatives. EMSA has the full legitimacy for its activities.
Although being a fully autonomous organisation, EMSA is a member organisation of the CEETTAR. This membership is comparable to the situation at national level: mobile seed providers are very often members of the agricultural and rural contractors’ associations. Despite diverging priorities, both organisations have an interest in a strong cooperation.

Why a specific representation for the mobile seed processors?

The goal of EMSA is to take part in the decision-making process of the European Union on the issue of seed and to bring together all the players in the of farm seed production chain.

The future of farm saved seed (FSS) in Europe is all but guaranteed. A lack of knowledge of the decision makers on what farm saved seed is (in the technical, legal and economical aspects) is obvious. One of the priorities for EMSA is thus to raise awareness of EU leaders on farm saved seeds. To achieve this objective, the “speaker” has to be clearly identified.

Plant breeders and Ag-chem companies are very active vis-à-vis the European institutions, delivering information detrimental to FSS. There is therefore a need to have an organisation submitting different information to allow EU decision makers to make an enlightened choice. Moreover, considering the consultative approach of the EU institutions, the participation to events, consultations and meetings, requires an organisation easily identified by the EU administration and politicians.

Mobile seed providers have very highly specialised activities and their concerns are quite different from those of the agricultural and rural contractors. The European legislative agenda is quite specific to their sector (e.g. Community Plant Variety Rights; propagating material, biotechnologies…). Committing the CEETTAR to regularly react to issues irrelevant to most of its member organisations could be a source of internal misunderstandings.

In other terms, besides ensuring the representation of the members within all the organizations created at the European level, here are some objectives of the association:

  • To maintain the contact, to cooperate with the EU institutions and other organizations created at the same level concerning any matter in relation with the profession,
  • To coordinate the action of its members with the EU institutions,
  • To lead surveys and actions in the professional, economic, commercial, social and technical areas, intended to defend and promote mobile seed contractors from the member countries, in the European Union and beyond its borders,
  • To identify and disseminate information of interest for the profession (being originated by the European Union and from other parts of the world),
  • To organise the cooperation and exchange of information between the members, to assist them to set-up joint actions, to coordinate their policies and suggest


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