• Increasing demand for seeds of old vegetable varieties

In recent years there has been a growing interest among both organic farmers and hobby farmers in Denmark for preserving and using old or obsolete plant varieties. There is an ongoing research into the robustness, health and history of the varieties and this has helped to raise awareness. 

However, the seeds for some of these varieties are no longer available on the market.

Purpose of the project

The research project MOVE will be studying how the seeds of old vegetable varieties with interesting properties can be made available to hobby growers and organic farmers.

The project is going to develop a model for commercial growth of interesting vegetable varieties with distinctive qualities. The project focuses on old varieties like cabbage, beet roots and spinach.

Currently, work on the new EU Seed Law is on hold, but in Denmark it is now legal to swap seeds for private use. Only seeds for commercial marketing and use are covered by the EU legislation on seeds and the MOVE project is thus targeting the smaller commercial producers. There are three target groups for MOVE: the private non-commercial growers, the small (organic) growers, and the large commercial vegetable growers.

The aim of the project is to make more varieties available for organic farmers of the requested varieties.

MOVE runs in the period 2016-2018.

Project leader

Birte Boelt
Department of Agroecology
Aarhus University