Federal Prize for Organic Agriculture – Software AG Foundation congratulates the winners

Growing Seed
Photo: C. Fischer

As part of International Green Week in Germany, the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Christian Schmidt, awarded the breeding farms of Kultursaat e.V., together with the marketing organization  Bingenheimer Saatgut AG , a federal prize for organic agriculture.

The nation-wide competition was developed by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture with the goal of rewarding effective and innovative accomplishments in this field and recognizing company philosophies that are especially environmentally sustainable. The transferability of the innovation to other operations and institutions was an important factor, as this aspect is crucial for increasing the acceptance and popularity of organic agriculture in Germany.

“The winners meet these criteria in a special way, because they maintain that seeds possess culture value that should be accessible to all,” said Sebastian Bauer, Project Manager at the Software AG Foundation, about the award. Bauer noted that with attractive alternative approaches and breeding methods, the winners actively counteract the loss of biodiversity in vegetable farming and the tendency towards the the monopolization of the global seed market. “We congratulate the winners for their outstanding work on behalf of biodynamic and organic seed breeding,” said Bauer.

Since 2001, the Software AG Foundation has been supporting non-profit research in the field of organic seed breeding with an average of 520,000 Euro annually. The foundation has a longstanding and close relationship with the prize winners.

The organisation Kultursaat e.V. is an association of biodynamic vegetable growers from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands. The breeding work takes place on location: not in laboratories, but on a diversity of organic farms. Biodynamic seed breeding is focused not only on plants' suitability for commercial sale, but also on maintaining specific and intense flavours as well as the harmonious life forces of the plant.

The Software AG Foundation is an independent, non-profit foundation organised under German law and based in Darmstadt. We are not a corporate foundation, but a principal shareholder in the Software AG company, also based in Darmstadt. With the profits on an endowment of around one billion Euro, the Software AG Foundation (SAGST) has been funding selected projects since 1992. We exclusively fund projects carried out by independent non-profit organizations who provide an immediate benefit to the community. We consider it a special aspect of our work to actively initiate new projects that achieve the essential developments and objectives identified in the foundation's charter (version dated May 28, 2002). Adherence to the “Guiding Principles of Good Practice for Foundations,” adopted by the Association of German Foundations in 2006, is central to how we work. The Software AG Foundation has its own asset management.