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.
Letter from the Executive Director
Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting the Svalbard Global Seed Vault during the largest deposit since the Vault’s opening in 2008. I was humbled to witness at first-hand genebanks from all over the world making deposits of seeds of several hundred different species. The importance of the Vault and the broader global family of genebanks as fail-safes for our planet’s future food supply has never been so apparent. I was struck by the enormity of the task we have in front of us.
In November 2019, it was my honor to accept the position of Executive Director of the Crop Trust. I am familiar with much of the Crop Trust’s excellent work under the leadership of my predecessor, Marie Haga, and I look forward to building on that strong foundation. With our partners, much valuable work has been carried out to support meeting SDG Target 2.5, which we celebrate in this report.
“The UN SDG Target 2.5 calls for the international community to safeguard and share the genetic diversity of both crops and livestock by 2020”-
Meeting Target 2.5 embodies the mission of the Crop Trust. The endowment fund guarantees the long-term conservation and availability of the building blocks of our food system, contributing to securing the planet’s future food supply in a climate emergency.
Our mandate also feeds into a broader spectrum of the SDGs, and the targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement – and it is my mission to ensure we play a pivotal role in contributing to the global sustainable development agenda.
Collections of crop diversity require constant maintenance, and even brief disruptions or variations in funding can leave material at risk of permanent loss. So, as we look ahead to 2030, and arguably the most important decade of the century, the growth of the endowment fund will remain a priority for the Crop Trust.
The Crop Trust also manages projects that closely complement the work funded by the endowment. In 2019, with enormous thanks to our Norwegian donors, our partners concluded a six-year effort to collect crop wild relatives, and we were able to continue to support the pre-breeding programs that will put key traits from these wild species in the hands of breeders and farmers.
In partnership with CGIAR, in 2019 we completed the third year of the five-year program, the CGIAR Genebank Platform. The Platform ensures that the international genebanks managed by CGIAR centres are running efficiently, their crop collections are conserved to a high standard, and that as many samples as possible are immediately available when they are needed by scientists, farmers and other users.
In our newest initiative, Seeds4Resilience, we partner with five national genebanks in Africa. The project provides the financial and technical support for these national genebanks to reach international conservation standards and ensure their collections are both safe and available for the long term.
Food Forever is a campaign to raise awareness, aimed to shed light on the crucial importance of SDG Target 2.5. Its flagship event series gives the public a glimpse of an exciting food future. By working with innovative chefs to cook dishes using lesser-known ingredients, the Food Forever Experience plants the seed for important conversations about a more diverse and sustainable food future.
There is much to challenge and excite us in the year ahead. But for now, I hope you enjoy this Annual Report for the challenging and exciting year that was 2019.
Stefan Schmitz, Executive Director, Crop Trust