French Interprofessional Organisation|for Seeds and Plants

GNIS evolves... and becomes SEMAE, the inter-profession of all seeds and for all uses

January 27, 2021

January 27, 2021, the seed inter-profession has experienced a historic day since its creation. The doors of the « GNIS of tomorrow » opened online, with more than 800 participants, to showcase the new strategic project of the inter-profession, and the essential values around which it will be structured with a new name: SEMAE.

The world is going through profound changes and so is the seed and seedling inter-profession… A crucial moment that will have consequences on its organisation, its governance, its functioning, as well as on its place in society.

An ambitious and innovative strategic project

The Year 2020 was the result of an in-depth reflection, which led to the implementation of a strategic project for the years to come, in order to support the sector in its adaptation to growing societal and environmental expectations and to the necessary food security for all.

This ambitious and innovative strategic project is an extension of the sector plan drawn up in 2017, based on several key points: better meeting the expectations of citizens, consumers and customers; innovating to support sectors undergoing agro-ecological transition; protecting, enriching and disseminating biodiversity. A fourth axis will complement this plan in order to strengthen the competitiveness and attractiveness of the sector.

SEMAE: one rationale, four values and four major commitments

In order to take up the major challenges that are the use of phytosanitary products, water management, the respect and preservation of biodiversity, the adaptation of crop production to increasing climatic hazards, and the assurance of healthy and quality food, SEMAE is built around one rationale, 4 key values and 4 major commitments.

The SEMAE rationale:

« Ensure the availability and supply of quality seeds and seedlings
by adapting to the diversity of expectations of farmers, gardeners and consumers
in France as well as in different areas of the planet »

4 key values promoted by SEMAE:

  • Solidarity: Solidarity between the various trades in the sector, between species, and a concern for consensus and corporate interests.
  • Openness and transparency: Openness to the trends of society’s stakes, dialogue, listening and respect. Financial transparency in actions; both internally and externally.
  • Innovation and progress: In order to defend and promote the interest of seeds and seedlings as a source of progress and solutions for different types of use.
  • Responsibility: Responsibility towards society, taking into account the place of seeds and seedlings upstream of the agri-food chain and to contribute to food security for all.

SEMAE's 4 major commitments:

The Inter-profession announced as early as last October that it was opening up to society by being more than ever attentive to societal issues with the implementation of concrete actions to respond to them, to diversity by being able to serve the various models of agriculture without opposing them; but also to the entire sector by enlarging the scope of the Inter-profession so that it can cover all forms and uses of seeds and seedlings.

  • Openness: If the Interprofession was already perfectly representative in the sense of European legislation, its ambition is to be open to all stakeholders and all forms of seeds. It invited the so-called minority unions to its board of directors and decided to create a 9th section “Seed Diversity”.
  • Transversality: Following the model of the transversal commission “Organic Agriculture” created in 2018 (within the framework of the commodity chain plan), four new spaces of exchange will be created and will deal respectively with the following themes: Communication, Innovation, Studies & Economy, and Regulation. They will enable the Board of Directors to have a more harmonized strategic guideline and to prioritize actions.
  • Transparency: The strategic project reaffirms the inter-profession’s commitment to the public service missions entrusted to it. Independence of the official control and certification service (SOC) which is responsible for carrying out these missions will be strengthened through a contract of objectives and performance signed with the State. Given the importance of seeds in the agro-food chain, SEMAE has initiated a process of societal responsibility of organisations (the counterpart of corporate CSR).
  • The service provided to professionals at the local and international level: SEMAE will address the need for greater proximity between the families of the inter-profession and their ecosystem by strengthening the inter-professional responsibilities of the regions. Moreover, the importance of international action, in a sector where 50% of the turnover is made outside the national territory, is reaffirmed.

SEMAE: a name with values and objectives

In order to accommodate these changes, the interprofession changes its name and SEMAE now symbolises its values and objectives.

The multicolored seed rosette is both an emblem of the diversity of the species represented within the inter-profession, and of the diversity of stakeholders who make it up. It also represents biodiversity, to which the inter-profession organisation is deeply attached.

This logo is enriched by the signature “All Seeds for Tomorrow”, with the double objective of plurality and responsibility for the future.

The French Minister of Agriculture, Julien Denormandie, closed this busy day by affirming his support for SEMAE by stressing that « SEMAE is listening to the expectations of society, and thus knows how to adapt to the growing plurality of agricultural models that result from it ». He noted that « Seeds and seedlings have a crucial role to play in the agro-ecological transition. You are the raw material of raw materials. This beautiful inter-profession and this beautiful industry are assets for our country to regain this agro-food sovereignty ».