French Interprofessional Organisation|for Seeds and Plants

Administrative bodies: composition and responsibilities

238 elected representatives, from 48 professional federations, belong to one of the 5 realms of SEMAE (formerly GNIS). They represent the various professions of the seed and plant sector and are members of SEMAE’s decision-making bodies: the Board and/or the specialised Sections.



The board is made up of the presidents and vice-presidents of SEMAE’s eight specialised sections. It also includes 5 seats for farmer representatives. Terms last three years and are renewable. In the interests of equal representation, the presidency and vice-presidency are shared by representatives from the seed-growers sector and from the companies sector.


The board has the following responsibilities:

  • to define SEMAE’s strategic aims
  • to coordinate work within and among Sections
  • to establish and approve the organisation’s budget

François DESPREZ

SEMAE chairman

Pierre PAGÈS

SEMAE Vice-chairman

SEMAE's eight specialised sections

SEMAE has eight specialised sections that represent the major species groups in the seed and plant sector. These sections promote exchanges among sector stakeholders as well as between stakeholders and government representatives. They are the driving force behind collective actions that benefit the sector.


Each section focuses on a single species or species group:

small-grain cereals

maize & sorghum

forage & turf plants

vegetables & ornamentals

beets & root chicory



flax & hem

By structuring itself around sections, SEMAE increases its ability to explore the specific challenges and issues (regulatory, economic, and technical) that are associated with different species and species groups.

The five professional realms (Plant breeding, Seed growing, Seed production, Seed distribution, Seed use) have representatives in each of the eight sections. In the interest of equal representation, seed growers and companies representatives (from breeding, production, and distribution companies) share the section presidencies and vice-presidencies. Each section is managed by a chief administrative officer.

Promoting discussion and reflection

The sections promote exchange and collaboration among SEMAE’s different professional groups in a collegial decision-making process. The sections also represent the groups in interactions with governmental authorities. Engaging in discussion fosters reflection and contributes to the development of collective actions.

Topics of discussion among the different sector’s stakeholders

  • industry and production management—the negociation of technical and economic production conditions in seed production contracts;
  • differences in perspectives between seed producers and seed consumers on product marketing (e.g., quality, packaging, product delivery).

These discussions can lead to the establishment of interprofessional agreements.

Aims of discussions and collective actions

  • to improve seed production techniques;
  • to nurture product development and stakeholder success and to bolster product and stakeholder image;
  • to explain the sector’s structure and regulatory framework, which are favourable to its long-term success.

Header photo : © SEMAE / Paul Dutronc