Dear Mr. Gheorghe Hedesan,
Thank you for your email and your interest in ISF membership. First of all I wish to congratulate you with your membership in ESA. ESA is an important regional seed association, but membership in ESA does not allow you to attend the ISF congress or other ISF meetings.
Should you wish to become an ISF member, then please send us an application for Ordinary membership on your letterhead paper with a copy of your Articles of Association (or constitution or bylaws) in English.
Your application will then be presented to the ISF Executive Committee and the ISF Board of Directors in their next meetings. If your application is accepted you will be proposed for election as Ordinary member during the General Assembly at our next annual World Seed Congress in Calgary/Canada in June 2010.
Your application would already entitle you and your members to attend the next ISF congress in Calgary.
ISF has different categories of Members and I have attached below the categories as they are written down on the ISF Articles of Association. As national seed association, you would fall in the category of Ordinary members.
7. The Federation is composed of:
a. Ordinary members: National seed trade and/or plant breeders Associations;
b. Associate members: Individual companies acting in plant breeding and/or seed trade. If in the country where their companies are registered there is an Ordinary member of the Federation, they must be a member of that Ordinary member, provided that the Ordinary member has the relevant crop coverage and that they are eligible to join as per the rules of that Ordinary member. An Ordinary member may accept that a company located in its country and not a member of that Ordinary member, even if it could be a member according to the articles of association of that Ordinary member, applies for ISF Associate membership, on a case-by-case basis;
c. Associate members of the Tree and Shrub Seed Group: National Associations of tree and shrub seed companies and/or individual companies active in this field;
d. Affiliate members: Provider companies to the seed industry such as crop protection companies, seed testing labs, molecular labs, etc.;
I have attached a presentation with general information on ISF.
In addition I wish to inform you about ISF and the benefits of being an ISF member. The benefits of ISF membership are the following:
Attendance to the annual ISF congress and other ISF meetings (non-members are not allowed to attend the congress and other meetings).
The ISF congress attracts between 1000 to 1500 persons so during the ISF congress there are a lot of networking and trading possibilities for you and your members.
The ISF meetings and congress, therefore provide you with a forum to share your ideas, opinions and concerns with others in the seed industry
Members of your seed association can also attend the ISF congress without being a direct member of ISF
Voting rights: you can have direct influence if you are a direct member of ISF
You can express your interest in one or more of the ISF Sections and Committees (see our website www.worldseed.org for an overview) and receive all correspondence about them, e.g. meeting minutes and announcements of relevant meetings on those topics.
You receive the ISF Newsletter 4 times a year (I have attached two recent ones).
You and your members may benefit from ISF arbitration, in case of disputes
In the near future we plan to open a ‘Members Only’ website with a password. In this website we will place all kinds of information which are of specific benefit to our members.
ISF has an official observer status and attends the regular meetings of UPOV, OECD Seed Schemes, ISTA, WIPO, FAO, IPPC, CBD, IT and several other intergovernmental organizations. In case you would like to change something in one of these regulations, or have concerns about certain developments, ISF can make your voice heard at these meetings. There is no other trade association that has such a broad observer status in these intergovernmental organizations.
Therefore being an ISF member, you would be part of a strong and dedicated voice supporting the interests of the seed industry.
You would receive useful information about developments regarding seed policies, developments on science in the plant breeding and seed industry, on intellectual property rights, adventitious presence, phytosanitary matters, seed treatment, biotechnology, plant genetic resources and many other topics which are relevant for the seed industry.
To summarize, it is our opinion that ISF membership gives you access to information and services which are very specific to the seed industry which are not available from any other trade association.
To calculate the annual membership fee, the ISF uses a formula based on the amount of seed-import, seed-export and the domestic market for seeds in your country. The export and import data are retrieved from the UN International Customs Organisation and the domestic market figure is derived from the national seed association. According to these data, you will be classified in one of the 10 categories and once you are approved as an ISF member, you will receive an invoice for your ISF membership fee at the beginning of each year. There is no entrance fee.
For Romania I have currently the following data over 2008: Seed Export 26 million USD, Seed Import is 83 million USD and domestic market is 220 million USD.
So according to our formula this would add up to 26+83 + (¼ * 220) = 164.. You would fall into class 5 with a annual membership fee of 5 * 3150 CHF is 15.750 CHF per year.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I’d be happy to provide you with additional information if you wish any.
I look forward to hearing from you,
With best regards,
Marcel Bruins Ph.D.
International Seed Federation (ISF)
Chemin du Reposoir 7
1260 Nyon, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 365 44 20
Fax: +41 22 365 44 21
CBD = Convention on Biological Diversity
IPPC = International Plant Protection Convention (a.o. for Phytosanitary Certificates)
ISTA = International Seed Testing Association (a.o. for ISTA Orange Certificates)
IT-PGRFA = International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (FAO)
OECD = Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (a.o. for Seed Certification)
FAO = Food and Agriculture Organization (UN)
UPOV = International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (for plant breeders rights)
WIPO = World Intellectual Property Organization