ASTA Statement on Competition in the Seed Industry
Alexandria, Va.—September 19, 2016—In advance of tomorrow’s U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, American Seed Trade Association President & CEO Andrew W. LaVigne made the following statement about competition in the seed industry:
“Because of the seed industry’s past, present and future research and development investments, America’s farmers have access to a better quality and larger variety of seed products than ever before. Plant breeders and companies have strived to continually improve the quality and performance of their products for America’s farmers, gardeners and consumers. In bringing those new varieties to the market, seed companies spend significant resources to research, develop, and commercialize varieties at a significant cost and investment. This is a commitment that will continue into the future.
“As the U.S. government reviews the current proposals for mergers and acquisitions in the seed industry, it is the responsibility of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to fully review the proposed mergers for potential market impacts and to ensure there will be choice and improved varieties in the future. Seed companies are responsible for bringing improved varieties to growers every year, and they will continue to fulfill that responsibility.
“The U.S. seed industry is extremely diverse, both in terms of size and crops covered, with hundreds of regional and independent seed companies doing business across the country, producing seed for all sectors of the industry, including row crops, flowers, vegetables, grasses, forages and turf. They strive to provide variety choice and performance for America’s growers, gardeners and landscape managers to ensure the best seed is available for the market.
“Seed is the foundation of life, and we anticipate seeing continued strong competition in the marketplace, and the development of new and improved varieties in the future that will benefit virtually every aspect of society.”
Founded in 1883, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) represents over 700 companies involved in seed production, plant breeding and related industries in North America. ASTA is an effective voice of action in all matters concerning the development, marketing and movement of seed, associated products and services throughout the world. ASTA’s broad membership offers varieties from alfalfa to zucchini and all production types including conventional, organic and biotech. We promote the development of better seed to produce better crops for a better quality of life.