APSA Virtual Technical Session 2021 - Standing Committee on International Trade & Quarantine 22 November 2021 / 12:00 – 14:00 hrs ICT (GMT+7)

Standing Committee on International Trade & Quarantine
Monday the 22nd of November 2021
12:00 – 14:00 hrs ICT (GMT+7)



12.00 – 12.10

Opening Remarks
Mr Michael Leader, Chair, APSA Standing Committee on International Trade & Quarantine

12.10 – 12.30

Launch of the South and Southeast Asia Access to Seeds Index
Ms Aarti Misal, Senior Researcher, World Benchmarking Alliance

12.30 – 12.50

OECD Seed Trade Report on Impact of COVID-19 on Seed Sector
Mr Csaba Gaspar, Program Manager, OECD Seed Schemes

12.50 – 12.55

Online Coffee Break

12.55 – 13.25

EU Plant Health Regulation and International Perspective

  • Mr François Burgaud, Counsellor of the President, SEMAE
  • Dr Rose Souza Richards, Seed Health Manager, International Seed Federation (ISF)
13.25 – 13.45

Summary of the 7th Phytosanitary Expert Consultation & Summary of STDF Proposal
Mr Michael Leader, Chair, APSA Standing Committee on International Trade & Quarantine

13.45 – 13.55

Award Announcement: APSA Recognition Award for the Most Influential Plant Pathologists in the Asian Seed Sector
Mr. Wichai Laocharoenpornkul, President, APSA

13.55 – 14.00

Closing Remarks
Ms Abigail Struxness, Co –Chair, APSA Standing Committee on International Trade & Quarantine


Ms Aarti Misal
Senior Researcher
World Benchmarking Alliance

Aarti Misal is leading the research for the Access to Seeds Index. Prior to joining World Benchmarking Alliance, Aarti has worked with several seed companies based in India and has experience in providing market intelligence data for companies involved in Foods and Beverages, Seeds, Agricultural Commodities, and Agrochemical sector. She has comprehensive knowledge of Intellectual Property and Plant Variety Protection, Biosafety and Regulatory affairs and Agribusiness Consultancy. Aarti believes that the private sector has a crucial role to play in advancing the SDGs, and benchmarking is a powerful tool in a way to measure and incentivize business impact towards a sustainable future.

The 2021 Access to Seeds Index benchmarks 31 seed companies in South and South-east Asia on efforts to make their products available to smallholder farmers. Ultimately, the index evaluates seed companies’ contributions to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger. The 2021 index follows the first-ever South and South-east Asia index published in 2019 evaluating 24 leading seed companies. The index showed that the industry was present in all countries, highly research-driven, releasing new varieties for a broad variety of crops, and seeds packages were tailored to the needs of smallholders. However, the industry was recommended to make improvements in accompanying sales with training and increased investments in breeding and production activities in more countries to develop the local seed sector. Has the industry improved performance to reach smallholder farmers with quality seeds of improved varieties for ensuring that people in the region have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food? 

Mr Csaba Gaspar
Seed Schemes Program Manager,
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Csaba Gaspar is the Programme Manager of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Seed Schemes. In this capacity he ensures the co-ordination of the implementation of the OECD’s international seed varietal certification systems in the 61 participating countries of the Seed Schemes. Mr Gaspar has an MSc in Horticulture with specialisation in Biotechology as well as an MSc in Geo-Information Systems (GIS).  He has 18 years of experiences in standardisation and certification of agricultural products such as agricultural seeds, fruits & vegetables, and forest reproductive materials. Before joining the OECD in 2006 he worked for the National Food Chain Safety Office of Hungary as inspector and coordinator of international relations. He was the Chair of the Specialised Session on Standardisation of Dry and Dried Produce and Vice-Chair of the Working Party 7 on Agricultural Quality Standards of The United Nation Economic Commission for Europe in 2005 and 2006.


Following the COVID-19 outbreak, there were concerns that seed supply chains would be disrupted and that countries relying on seed imports would not have sufficient seed for the upcoming seasons. To better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the seed supply chain, the OECD, in cooperation with the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), and with assistance from the International Seed Federation (ISF), the Asian and Pacific Seed Association (APSA), and the World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg), carried out a detailed analysis from the perspective of seed companies.

The study concluded that the global seed sector was reasonably resilient during the crisis. However, seed companies with headquarters in the Asia and Pacific region were more affected by the negative effects of the crisis than their counterparts outside the region. The report also recommends policies to further strengthen the resiliency of the seed supply chain and mitigate or avoid the negative effects of the current pandemic and future crises, including the support of the development of international seed supply chains and the diversification of seed production, digitalisation and ensurance of public availability of information on the supply chain.

Mr François Burgaud
Counsellor of the President

François Burgaud is Counsellor of the President of SEMAE (Interprofessional organization for Seeds). He is Co-President of the agro task force of Medef International and also President of ADEPTA (Association for the Development of International Trade in Agri-Food Products and Techniques). François
Burgaud is President of Adepta since 2013 and Co-President of the Task Force on Agriculture and Agrofood industry of Medef-International since 2016. Graduate of Sciences-Po Paris, as well as in Economics and History, François Burgaud is a European expert in the framework of the ITPGRFA (International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Agriculture and Food). François Burgaud is a member of the Board of Directors of AFSTA (African Seed Trade Associciation).

A new plant health Regulatory framework has been set up in December 2019 for the European union. This regulation has emphasized responsabilities borne on professional operators such as the issuance of plant passports allowing the movements of seeds of certain species within the Union territory (e.g. tomato, sunflower, etc). Pest Risk Management Plan is therefore a recognition of competences of operators to allow for such issuance of plant passports. The revision of the EU Plant Health Regulation was also the occasion to clarify definitions and lists of pests as Quarantine Pests, Regulated Non-Quarantine Pests and set up measures for emerging pests. Measures for emerging pests (surveys, contingency plans, etc) were illustrated recently with outbreaks of Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRV).  

Dr Rose Souza Richards
Seed Health Manager
International Seed Federation (ISF)

Rose Souza Richards joined the International Seed Federation in in March 2020 and is the Seed Health Manager. Rose is the key point person for the international seed industry with the International Plant Protection Convention, and responsible for the coordination of an industry-wide response to WTO notifications on proposed changes to national phytosanitary regulations. She also manages, develops, and promotes existing ISF activities such as the Systems Approach, the Regulated Pest List Initiative, and the International Seed Health Initiative. Rose has spent the last five and a half years working at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in New Zealand. Rose has a BSc in Agronomic Engineering from the State University of Bahia, Brazil, an MSc in Plant Pathology from the Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil, a second MSc in Plant Diversity from the University of Reading, UK and a PhD in Plant Molecular Virology from the University of Nottingham, UK.