Plant Breeding Fit for the Future 

Posted: 13th October 2022

We’re proud to have sponsored the Plant Breeding Fit for the Future Conference yesterday, which Paul also took part in - important discussions about how to secure the plant varieties needed for a more sustainable and resilient UK agriculture.

The event was organised by the Soil Association and CHAP (Crop Health and Protection) and was attended by experts from a diverse range of agricultural philosophies who explored current plant breeding frameworks, the future needs in agriculture, and how to bridge the gap between the system and these needs to improve breeding and ensure we have the right plants to tackle the UK’s challenges.

The Soil Association and CHAP described the aims as follows: 

The agricultural sector is currently facing a series of complex challenges: sky-rocketing energy costs, devastating climate change effects, biodiversity loss and consumer dietary shifts to name a few. The aim of this event was to provide an opportunity to join experts for a day of fruitful knowledge exchange and creativity to rethink how our plant breeding systems can become a force to address these challenges. 

In addition to expert panels, delegates had a chance to discuss a series of topics- such as traits to support resilience, business models for the 21st Century, achieving tailored varieties with limited resources, and the role of populations vs varieties- in afternoon break-out sessions.

The aim was to bring practitioners, researchers, policy makers and other stakeholders together to discuss and identify future breeding priorities and the changes required to ensure our breeding programmes meet the needs of the future market and challenges of the 21st Century.