ASIAN SEED • 18 romoting and pro- tecting seed inno- vation, technology, research and ethics were top-of-the-agenda at APSA’s first-ever mid- term meeting, held 24–25 April in the Thai capital. FACE VALUE In her inauguration speech, APSA president Ms. Brenda Dossey wel- comed the delegation before giving background on the decision to hold midterms. “Our Special Interest Groups and Standing Committees have always functioned around the Asian Seed Congress. But meeting once a year has its limitations, especially in our rapidly-changing industry. For the past sev- eral years, we’ve started meeting more frequently through teleconferencing. Though this has allowed us to get more organized and to better plan activ- ities ahead of Congress, it’s not the same as meet- ing face-to-face, which you can’t put a price on.” Ms. Dossey explained the idea for midterms was born of discussions to form a new working group under APSA’s SIG for Vegetables & Ornamen- tals. “The Working Group for Integrated Seed Com- panies, or WIC, is a new group of about 20 com- panies in the Asia-Pacific region whose operations integrate all aspects of the seed business – re- search, production and sales. We think this will be a key group for APSA and thought it a good idea to get together in person to discuss our objectives and how to achieve them. “Expanding on this, we decided to invite reps from other SIGs and SCs to hold a proper midterm meeting. This will allow us to do what we do best at APSA, since we are so diverse and come from various backgrounds – as evident in this room alone. We are always more effective when we work together in person, and this will ensure we go from strength to strength. There is a lot of strength in this room, and here we can utilize these strengths to focus on what we can do – not what we can’t do,” she said. WIC chair Dr. Anthony Tse (Clover Seed Co. Ltd.) elaborated on the new working group’s mission: “By forming a smaller working group with reps from key vegetable seed companies, we can more effectively and actively identify specific issues affecting the vegetable seed industry and tackle them by proposing spe- cific activi- ties, priorities and proj- ects to be imple- mented within the larger SIG Veg & Orn group.” APSA’s activities – which include Study Tours, Workshops and Conferences aimed at capacity-building and professional development for APSA members and associates – are planned by the association’s four SIGs and three SCs, with final consideration given by the Executive Commit- tee, who meet in person twice a year before the Asian Seed Congress, and twice more during the association’s annual meeting. Co-chair of APSA SIG Veg & Orn, Jack Met- zelaar (HM Clause) un- derlined the significance of the meeting: “This is a beginning phase where the common consensus reached is a realistic one. Awareness of property rights is the priority and it should start with giv- ing APSA members the information and tools to reach out to their key stakeholders ... What is encouraging is that there is a willingness of import- ant member companies to take action and commit resources to the efforts in the future. Positive and important also is that the specific issues of the re- gion, such as the estab- lishment of a pest list for Asian crops, are put on the list of actions for the future,” he said. BREEDING BOUNTY Introducing the first item on the agenda, Influenc- ing Regulation in Plant Breeding Innovation, APSA Director Heidi Gal- lant noted that there is a strong push in the inter- national seed industry to raise awareness of the lat- Advocating Action in Asia Seed Industry Solidly Supports IP Protection at APSA’s Maiden Midterms “We are always more effective when we work together in person and this will ensure we go from strength to strength.” – Brenda Dossey, APSA President P