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WP 4 : case study report : Transnational Seed Exchange Networks

Authors: Balázs, Bálint; Smith, Adrian; Aistara, Guntra Bela, Györgyi;
Publication date: 2015
Keywords: case studies, networks, Seed exchange, narratives of change

While there are hundreds of local movements that are promoting the saving and exchange of seeds as a form of food sovereignty and an alternative to GMOs and corporate control of seed, there is not one organized and well-interconnected global seed network at present. Instead, there are several regional hubs in North America, Europe, Australia, Latin America, Africa, and India. Only a few groups are working cross-regionally; many feel there are some elements of a common vision, but other issues on which their views and needs differ. Perhaps unlike with other global social issues, actors don't feel that they necessarily need a global network, because the foundation of any global network will still have to be strong movements at the local level. One reason for this is that seed networks are distinguished from many other social movements is the importance of the materiality of their work. The reproduction, maintenance, categorization and exchange of seeds as a form of preserving biodiversity takes precedence over all other matters. This transnational seed network case study covers a time frame from the mid-1970s until today. This report has a special emphasis on the working of the European Let's Liberate Diversity (LLD) network in the last decade, because this has been the most intense example of groups across countries attempting to transcend national movement identities and working styles to come to a common platform for action. After presenting the case methodology (section 2) the report discusses the developments on the international level (section 3) and then focuses on two local manifestations of seed exchange networking in the UK (section 4) and Hungary (section 5). In the synthesis (section 6) the report discusses the emergence, agency and dynamics of social innovation in seed exchange networking


Balázs, B., Smith, A., Aistara, G. and Bela, G. (2015) WP 4 : case study report : Transnational Seed Exchange Networks, TRANSIT: EU SHH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.

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