Australian seedsman and business leader Donald Coles has succeeded Eduard Fito as president of the International Seed Federation (ISF) for a two-year term, the tenth person to hold the position since the merging of FIS and ASSINSEL in 2002.
Coles was former first vice-president of the ISF executive committee from 2018-2020. Fito will continue to serve on the ISF executive committee as past president for another two years.
The ISF executive committee is now composed of Coles, Fito, first vice-president Marco van Leeuwen, treasurer Christoph Betschart and chair of the breeder committee Marc Cool.
“The role of agriculture in the steady supply of quality, healthy food has been greatly highlighted during the Covid-19 crisis," said Coles. "Today seed is widely recognised as an essential good and a key element in food production. This gives us further determination to ensure the efficient movement of quality seed in order to continue to deliver benefits to the entire value chain.
"In addition, it is very important to ensure continued innovation," Coles continued. "New plant breeding methods can continue to contribute solutions to the global challenge of building sustainable food systems in the face of climate change as well as meeting an ever-growing consumer demand for quality, healthy food. Seed creates food in a matter of weeks.
"I am looking forward to working with our members from around the world," he added. "More than ever, collaboration is necessary to continue to maintain sustainable food systems post Covid-19. Partnerships will play an important role in addressing challenges and arriving at solutions in a collaborative manner."