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.
“Crop conservation strategies provide an important global framework for all of our work. Without the information they bring together and critically analyze, we’d lack the global scientific evidence base that is so crucial to everything we do.”-Hannes Dempewolf, Senior Scientist - Head of Global Initiatives, Crop Trust
A new three-year project, funded by the Government of Germany, focuses on developing and updating global crop conservation strategies. The Crop Trust has supported the development of global crop conservation strategies for 27 crops since 2006.
These strategies take stock of the status of the conservation and availability of crop diversity and provide recommendations for priority activities. They recognize that the specific actions needed to conserve crops may differ significantly depending on the biology of the crop, on the representativeness of current collections, and how they are being managed.
The Federal Agency for Food and Agriculture of the German government (BLE), a strong advocate for crop diversity, is funding the Breathing New Life into the Global Crop Conservation Strategies project. The Crop Trust gathered a group of international experts to identify the crops on which the project should focus. They determined that five of the existing global crop conservation strategies should be updated: potato, yams, cowpea, millets and sorghum. And that nine new strategies should be developed: groundnut, cucurbits, temperate forages, sunflower, eggplant, pea, brassicas, peppers and citrus fruits.
Based on desk studies, surveys and various types of consultations with stakeholders, the new and updated strategies will provide a global roadmap for the conservation of the genepool, including key priority actions.
At the end of the project, we will recommend a dynamic system for developing, implementing and updating crop conservation strategies beyond the timeframe of the funding we are receiving. We will then have not only the strategies themselves but a strategy for sustaining them.
The Crop Trust is collaborating with the Secretariat of the Plant Treaty to position the strategies so they will become evidence-based guiding documents for the further development of the Multilateral System.
A strategy for apples
The latest crop conservation strategy focuses on apples, which are amongst the most popular fruits in the world and one of the most diverse in terms of varieties. The Global Strategy for the Conservation and Use of Apple Genetic Resources, released in 2019, addresses the need to ensure we have sufficient genetic diversity conserved in genebanks and in the wild.
The strategy was developed with input from more than 60 apple genebank curators and researchers in North America, Europe, New Zealand, China, Japan, Russia and Kazakhstan. It brings together a review of the apple’s ancient and modern history, a survey of the status of major collections, extensive expert consultations and reports of visits to key genebanks.
The strategy serves as a framework to bring together stakeholders at all levels to build long-term support through greater awareness, increased capacity, greater community engagement and sustained funding.
Read the full Apple Conservation Strategy:
Read more on global strategies