We are a producers' co-operative of 17 seed growers providing BC-grown vegetable, herb, grain, flower, and cover crop seed that is ecologically grown, open-pollinated, regionally selected, and GE-free. Our mission is to increase the quantity and improve the quality of ecological and organic seed grown in BC. From packets to bulk quantities, the co-op has seeds for all growers.
The scope of the co-op is BC-wide. Members of the co-op represent various regions in BC including Vancouver, Central BC, Sunshine Coast, Southern Vancouver Island, Cowichan Valley, Fraser Valley, and Fraser Canyon.
We actively strive to educate and demonstrate that seed sovereignty is an essential part of sustainable bioregional and global 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
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-operative, with 17 farms identifying themselves as candidates to participate in a producers' co-op. 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 Cooperatives First, The Vancity enviroFund™ and the Co-operator's Foundation, Co-operative Development Program in the past few years has allowed us to amplify our marketing, expand our market presence, learn from other co-ops and build a stronger presence to communicate our message to farmers and growers in BC and beyond.
The BC Eco Seed Co-op is grateful for support from the following organizations for their financial support and commitment to what we do.
- Cooperatives First
- The Vancity enviroFund™
- The Co-operators Foundation, Co-operative Development Program
- The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security
- FarmFolk CityFolk
Read more about the BC Eco Seed Co-op in the following publications: