We are a producers' co-operative committed to vegetable, herb, grain, flower, and cover crop seed that is ecologically grown, open-pollinated, regionally adapted, held in the public domain, and GE-free.
The BC Eco Seed Co-operative’s mission is to increase the quantity and improve the quality of ecological and organic seed grown in BC. We believe that seed sovereignty is an essential part of sustainable bioregional food systems.
We see a co-operative as a powerful model to achieve greater farmer co-operation to:
- Pool resources and infrastructure for cleaning and marketing seed
- Make available to organic and ecological growers bulk amounts of seed that has been grown in organic and ecological farm systems
- Support on-going educational opportunities to better produce seed in the quantities farmers need, and to a level of quality that they can trust
- Promote member farm businesses and create networking opportunities for regional seed producers
For many years, there has been ongoing dialogue about ways to better support seed producers in BC. Marketing and mutual support were identified as two key needs. In 2012, critical discussions at seed gatherings helped move forward the idea of a co-op, with 17 farms identifying themselves as candidates to participate in a producers' co-operative. Following this, a core group of producers and supporters participated in fundraising, research and development to lay the foundations of the BC Eco Seed Co-op. The co-op was officially incorporated at the end of 2014 after a full year of dedicated work led by members and allies from the community. In 2015, the co-op was able to hire a coordinator with financial support of the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security resulting in rigorous systems and structures developed in order to have our seeds available in 2016. Generous support from the The Co-operator's Foundation, Co-operative Development Program in the past year has allowed us to amplify our marketing, learn from other co-ops and build a stronger presence to communicate our message to farmers and growers in BC and beyond.
The scope of the co-op is BC-wide. Members of the co-op represent various regions in BC including West Kootenays, Vancouver, Central BC, Sunshine Coast, Southern Vancouver Island, Cowichan Valley, Fraser Valley, and Fraser Canyon, and all have been working collectively for years through BC Seeds, a project of FarmFolk/CityFolk.
The BC Eco Seed Co-op is grateful for support from the following organizations for their financial support and commitment to what we do.
- The Co-operator's Foundation, Co-operative Development Program
- The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security