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Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1682; doi:10.3390/su9101682

The European Native Seed Industry: Characterization and Perspectives in Grassland Restoration

1
Scotia Seeds, Angus DD96TR, UK
2
MUSE—Science Museum, 38122 Trento, Italy
3
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
4
Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University, Bentley 6029, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 16 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

The European Union committed to restore 15% of degraded ecosystems by 2020, and to comply with this goal, native plant material, such as seeds, is needed in large quantities. The native seed production of herbaceous species plays a critical role in supplying seed for restoration of a key ecosystem: grasslands. The objective of this work is to provide for the first time a characterization of the sector at a multi-country European level together with key information about the community of native seed users via intensive web-based research and a direct survey of industry participants. Based on more than 1300 contacts and direct surveying of more than 200 stakeholders across Europe, responses indicated that: the European native seed industry consists primarily of small to medium enterprises; responding native seed users purchase annually an average of 3600 kg of seeds with an average expenditure of €17,600; the industry (suppliers and consumers) favours development of seed zones and would participate in a European network for knowledge sharing. This study provides framework principles that can guide decisions in this sector, critical for fulfilling the growing demand for native seed as a primary tool for large-scale restoration on the continent. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological restoration; native seed community; seed market; seed production; seed zones; stakeholder; survey ecological restoration; native seed community; seed market; seed production; seed zones; stakeholder; survey
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

De Vitis, M.; Abbandonato, H.; Dixon, K.W.; Laverack, G.; Bonomi, C.; Pedrini, S. The European Native Seed Industry: Characterization and Perspectives in Grassland Restoration. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1682.

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