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.
The Executive Board
Upperville, Virginia, USA (May)
The Executive Board met at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation in Upperville, Virginia, United States for its first meeting of the year. The Board elected Sir Peter Crane of the United Kingdom to serve as the Executive Board Chair for the period 2020 – 2021, and Marico de Miranda Santos of Brazil to serve as Deputy Vice Chair until 31 December 2019.
In addition to endorsing the IT Digital Roadmap project, which will upgrade the Crop Trust’s data management, information sharing, and financial accounting systems, the Executive Board considered recommendations from the Donors’ Council and its Innovative Finance Working Group.
The Executive Board expressed strong support for the Innovative Finance Working Group to continue its work, and agreed that the Crop Trust Secretariat should explore the implementation of new financing mechanisms. Finally, Board members encouraged the Crop Trust Secretariat to continue pursuing endowment fund contributions from both public and private donors.
Bonn, Germany (October)
The Executive Board’s second meeting of the year was held at the Crop Trust’s Headquarters in Bonn, Germany. Board members approved the revised Investment Policy Statement and Statement of Investment Beliefs and agreed to convene a joint Executive Board and Finance and Investment Committee meeting in late 2020 to review the implementation plan for the revised Investment Policy Statement.
Board members discussed the results of the Crop Wild Relatives Project external review, which provided ample evidence on the effectiveness of its capacity development activities in seed collecting and processing, pre-breeding, and information management. They commended project staff on the extremely positive outcomes of the review.
The Executive Board also reflected on the signing of the historic Long-term Partnership Agreement (LPA) with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in 2018 and agreed it provides proof of concept for a key element of the Crop Trust’s work. This momentous agreement guarantees sustainable, long-term financial support for the essential operations of arguably the world’s most important rice genebanks.
The Donors’ Council
Rome, Italy (March)
The first Donors’ Council meeting of 2019 took place in Rome in March and was chaired by the Netherlands, represented by Hans Hoogeveen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the UN Organizations for Food and Agriculture. Topics of discussion included the new Seeds4Resilience project, an agreement with the Government of Germany to support the upgrading and long-term support of national genebanks in Africa.
The Innovative Finance Working Group also provided an assessment of each proposed mechanism. Based on its recommendations, members of the Donors’ Council determined which of the Innovative Finance mechanisms should be prioritized for implementation:a food security bond, member country loans and crop-based fundraising approaches.
Rome, Italy (October)
The Donors’ Council has the responsibility to fill four of the seats on the Executive Board. During this meeting, participants moved to unanimously appoint Ms Mercedez Fernandes Aráoz, the Vice President of Peru, to fill a vacancy on the Crop Trust Executive Board.
The Plant Treaty Governing Body
Crop Trust staff attended the latest session of the Governing Body of the Plant Treaty in November 2019. Our report was well received, and we are in discussion with the Secretariat as to how best to address the policy guidance we in turn received. The Governing Body also approved four new Executive Board members from Japan, Norway, Brazil and Rwanda.