Study on "Concentration of Market Power in the EU Seed Market"

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

This new study commissioned by the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament sheds light on the increasing concentration within the EU seed market. It concludes that industry's mantra that the EU market is healthy and diversified , with 7000 mainly small and medium enterprises is misleading.

It finds that the 7000 seed companies operating in the EU are mainly seed producers/multipliers and traders rather than breeders and they are increasingly being bought up or becoming dependent upon a few huge companies.

The study found that the EU seed market is experiencing increasing concentration in many of its most economically relevant crops in particular maize, vegetables and sugar beet, demonstrated by the high market share owned and controlled by a small number of transnational companies that dominate the specific crop markets. It also finds that a few global seed companies control a large part of the European plant breeding sector. The study highlights concern over the effects of such concentration in particular risk of decreased agro-biodiversity and impact on food security as well as driving up of inputs prices for farmers.

Given the importance of the issue, the Greens/EFA Group calls for EU institutions to provide better tools in order to reverse the concentration phenomenon, by recognising the issue rather than citing statistics provided by the industrial lobby.

The full study is available at