The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and the China National Seed Association (CNSA) recently extended a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote cooperation on mutual priorities for the seed industries of each country.  The MOU, signed on October 27 at the CNSA office in Beijing, extends the original agreement for three years and creates a Coordinating Committee of company representatives to track progress and work to ensure future programs align with the MOU’s goals.

“This MOU is another important step forward in strengthening the relationship and opportunities between the U.S. and Chinese seed industries,” said ASTA President and CEO Andy LaVigne.  “In extending this agreement, both parties are reaffirming the value and need for cooperation toward achieving mutual economic goals.” 

Since the signing of the original MOU in December, 2012, the two organizations have held a dozen successful events to promote intellectual property rights, high-quality seed, technology transfer and science-based phytosanitary measures.

“In the past few years, we have made great progress in promoting mutual interests through our increased cooperation, information exchanges and training sessions,” said LaVigne.  “The U.S. and Chinese seed industries are critical to addressing global challenges to economic and food security; and we look forward to continuing to work together to address these challenges and build a stronger future for both nations, and the world.”

Included in the most recent MOU is the creation of a Coordinating Committee, comprised of ASTA and CNSA member companies, to help guide future initiatives and evaluate completed efforts.  

The ASTA delegation to China included: Risa DeMasi, Chair; Mark Herrmann, First Vice Chair; John Schoenecker, Immediate Past Chair; Tim Johnson, Immediate Past Chair, International Seed Federation; Andy LaVigne, President and CEO; and Michelle Klieger, Director, International Programs and Policy.