ASF comprises a four-member Board of Directors, a five-member Policy Council, a President (Michael Leader) and a Secretariat. The Policy Council consists of representatives from the Northern, Eastern, South Eastern, Southern and Western regions. A new General Manager, Osman Mewett, from Croplife Australia, heads Secretariat operations together with Business Services Manager Alysha Lockley. The 2019-24 Strategic Plan offers as the ASF’s mission maintaining and protecting “the sustainability of ASF members”, aiming thereby to drive productivity while delivering financial stability, industry education and training. Current initiatives include: Essentially Derived Varieties (EDV) UPOV Guidance (resulting in the Australian government remaining neutral on the issue -- a positive development), ensuring the Spanish government allows digital signatures for phyto certificates, and a comprehensive review of the national gene technology scheme, among many others. Working Groups include those on: Horticulture; Science and Technology (dealing with IP issues and plant breeding innovation regulation, in addition to pastures and plant breeding); Market Access (phytosanitary and import/export developments); Turf and Lawn Seed; Supply; Temperate Grass Seed; and the recently created Communications Working Group set up to boost communication and training programs. The ASF supports access to crop biotechnology provided that choice is based on sound science. The ASF also supports access to all approved agricultural chemicals. The ASF is also bidding to host the 2022 Asian Seed Congress on the Gold Coast, Queensland.
The above information is based on a presentation given during APSA's annual National Seed Associations meeting, held on 27 November, 2019. For the latest information about ASF, visit their website.