Kultursaat e.V. – which could be translated as “culture-seeds” – is a German non-profit organisation founded in 1994 with the mission to foster the development of biodynamic vegetable varieties through breeding.
The activities of the organisation are oriented towards conserving historic open-pollinated varieties, breeding new varieties and sharing knowledge on varieties and research done.
Kultursaat makes varieties available on the European market by registering them on the official catalogue. To date (September 2019), 110 varieties from 37 crop types have been registered, of which 19 are part of the “conservation varieties” program and 91 are newly bred varieties.
The breeding work of Kultursaat is conducted by about 30 breeders, based on 22 farms. Most of these farms combine vegetable production with seed production and breeding, the others exclusively breed and produce vegetable seeds.
Kultursaat provides funding to the breeders to set-up their breeding programs. Further along the breeding process, the legal ownership for promising vegetable populations developed by the breeders is transferred to Kultursaat. The organisation then comes up for the costs and responsibilities of registering and maintaining varieties.
“Gemüse mit Charakter” (Vegetables that have Character) is a communication concept developed by Kultursaat and partners among vegetable distributors and consumers to sensitize consumers about biodynamic breeding. Facing the challenge of raising awareness on this complex and technical topic without drowning utterly un-informed target groups in information, they resulted in the idea of sensitizing consumers to biodynamic breeding through the experience of taste, which has been proved a successful choice.