ANNUAL REPORT 2019
Celebrating 15 years of crop diversity conservation
Crop varieties added+34K
Food Forever Experiences9
Grants provided for conservation$34.2M
ContributionsUSD 6 M
Accessions Conserved714 K
Updated accessions in Genesys4M
Crop accessions distributed66K
Countries receiving samples97
Sir Peter Crane – Executive Board Chair, Crop Trust
As we transition into a new phase of our work, we can do so confident in our ability to deliver on the vision of our founders.
Stefan Schmitz – Executive Director, Crop Trust
The importance of the global family of genebanks as fail-safes for our planet’s future food supply has never been so apparent.
What we do
The CGIAR Genebank Platform
This Crop Trust-led program ensures that the 11 CGIAR genebanks are running efficiently, that the crop collections they manage are conserved to a high standard, and that as many samples as possible are immediately available when needed.
Collecting Crop Wild Relatives
After six years, 4,644 seed samples of 371 different species of crop wild relatives from all over the world were collected and safeguarded.
Wild Seed, I Think I Love You
The work with crop wild relatives is transitioning from creating new materials to actually growing them in farmers' fields.
What we do
Svalbard Global Seed Vault
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is an iconic reminder of the remarkable effort taking place around the world to conserve the seeds of our food crops.
Supporting National Genebanks
Five genebanks in sub-Saharan Africa are the focus of a new Crop Trust project: Seeds4Resilience.
Strengthening information systems allows users to choose the exact crop diversity they need from thousands of samples.
Securing our Food, Forever
Our global crop conservation strategies describe the current status of conservation of major crop collections, and they attempt to identify the highest priority activities and resources required to safeguard the diversity of different genepools.
The Food Forever Initiative
Food Forever went around the world in 2019 – on a gastronomic and educational voyage – to celebrate the diversity of our foods.
An overview of the activities of the Crop Trust Executive Board and Donors’ Council.
Spreading the Message
Our audience is as diverse as the crop diversity we help safeguard.
Some of humanity’s most valuable global assets are being preserved in perpetuity so future generations can have diverse, healthy foods in increasingly unpredictable climatic conditions.
The Crop Trust deeply appreciates the support and commitment from its many donors, without whom none of our work would be possible.
Running the Numbers
A summary of the financial performance of the Crop Trust and its endowment fund.
Message from the Chair of the Executive Board
This year we celebrated 15 years of progress towards our goal of an effective, sustainable global system for the ex situ conservation of crop diversity. Crop diversity is essential to the future of agriculture, and we must conserve it if we are to use it to solve the problems that agriculture is facing, and will continue to face.
As we transition into a new phase of our work, we can do so confident in our ability to deliver on the vision of our founders. A strong structure is in place, our methods have been proved, and we have the team to get the job done.
Some of the 2019 transitions were of a personal nature. We said farewell to long-serving Board members Prem Lal Gautam, Mary Ann Sayoc and Gebisa Ejeta, all of whom contributed their expertise and passion selflessly over the past several years to help the Crop Trust deliver on its mission. We are deeply grateful for their dedication and service and wish them well in their new adventures.
There was unfortunately also a more tearful goodbye, occasioned by the sad passing of Tim Fischer, my predecessor as Executive Board Chair of the Crop Trust. Tim was a tireless leader and a lifelong advocate for biodiversity. He made lasting contributions to the global system of conserving crop diversity and helped bring the Crop Trust vision to life. We miss him already.
We closed 2019 with Marie Haga, who as Executive Director led the Crop Trust with energy and passion for seven years, moving on to a new job. Marie’s commitment to the Crop Trust was unwavering, and we are grateful for her exceptional contribution. We wish you well in your new adventure with IFAD, Marie.
At the same time, we are delighted to welcome our new Executive Director, Stefan Schmitz, a long-time friend of the Crop Trust, and a powerful advocate of biodiversity and sustainable food systems. Prior to joining us, Stefan was Deputy Director-General and Commissioner for the “One World – No Hunger” Initiative at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), a major partner to the Trust.
The Crop Trust team is made up of passionate, committed people, and their contributions are lasting reminders of the roles all of us play in safeguarding crop diversity.
Our partners, in particular, work tirelessly worldwide: genebank managers and staff, pre-breeders, breeders and farmers are all champions of diversity who make hugely important contributions to the cause. Here we spotlight them, recognizing the dedicated specialists who keep the world’s most important crop diversity alive for generations to come.
2019 was a busy year, and one of transition. In that spirit, I invite you to read on and learn about all we accomplished together in 2019.
Peter Crane, Chair of the Executive Board