Diego Risso is the executive director of the SAA.

An organization to fully represent the interests of the entire seed industry within the Americas.

The main purposes of the Seed Association of the Americas (SAA) are to educate and support development, the marketing and free movement of seeds within the continent and advocate for seed industry legislation and regulation issues as to ensure plant property rights.

“The SAA is the globally recognized leading authority – representing with a unified voice – for all the common interests of the seed industry in the Americas,” says SAA Executive Director Ing. Agr. Diego Risso.

Vision and Objectives

Four pillars support the vision of SAA:

• to promoted SAA as an exchange information hub

• to support national seed associations with our common interests and goals

• to communicate appropriately to our stakeholders

• to have working groups with a formal structure, agenda and associated budget.

“The first SAA objective is to promote and consolidate the integration between members of the seed chain within the Americas in order to share ideas and business,” says Risso.

“We promote discussions between public and private sectors of the different countries toward harmonization of legislations in order to promote growth of the industry and adoption of new technologies.”

The SAA is more than an island unto itself. It also aims to strengthen relations and discussions with other seed associations such as the International Seed Federation (ISF), the African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA), the Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA), and the European Seed Association (ESA).

Outside the seed industry, SAA engages with other multinational organizations including the Internationals Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), International Seed Trade Association (ISTA), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Organisation for the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Working Groups

• The Phytosanitary working group collects and generates information (Database of regulated pest, best practices of seed production) to support official authorities (NPPO) in the phytosanitary risk assessment process and to support the development of regional and international standards to have harmonized guidelines on this topic.

• The Biotechnology working group is concerned about the vulnerability of GMO seed trade because of the restrictions on seed movement related to the potential presence of low level biotechnology-derived seed authorized in the country of origin but not in the country of destination.

• The Seed treatment working group aims to reduce trade barriers throughout the Americas associated with treated seed and is charged with collecting data on how each country regulates seed applied technologies and the labeling of those technologies.

• The Intellectual property working group develops strategies on matters related to patent and plant variety protection rights and leads efforts to strengthen international intellectual property protection. It also advises on rules and procedures, shares experiences and makes alliances within the Americas on national and international intellectual property policy issues.

“The SAA Seed Congress of the Americas represents an opportunity for world seed companies and associated businesses to get together and discuss topics we have in common in our growing industry,” says Risso.

“It represents an extraordinary opportunity to congregate, generate new business, promote your products and become aware of relevant information and the latest novelties concerning the key topics to the seed industry and governments.”

The SAA Congress convenes every two years. It will meet again in Oct. 2019.