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Experiencing the taste of regions Cultivated and wild plants

Cultivated plants have been used and continuously developed for thousands of years. The constant selection for further use has generated a large regionally adapted variety of selected landraces and local varieties.

Vines land varieties (Source: Doris Schneide, JKI)

Experiencing the taste of regions

Many crops have been used and continuously developed for hundreds of years. The constant selection of individuals for further use has resulted in a regionally adapted large variety of selected landraces. In the course of globalization of markets and concentration processes in agriculture and the food industry, numerous crop species and varieties have disappeared from large-scale cultivation in Germany. This is why it is important to preserve and sustainably use the still existing, regionally typical diversity of cultivated plant varieties.

Re-discover the value of diversity

In the 80ies of the 20th century, associations were founded dedicated to the conservation of crop diversity. To this day, these associations and initiatives have been able to maintain or reintroduce a considerable proportion of the diversity of cultivated plants still in cultivation or in genebanks in Germany. Healthy plant material of rare and old varieties could also be further developed for new challenges. In some cases, old varieties could be successfully marketed again as conservation or amateur varieties.

In order to support measures for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources, the IBV maintains the Red List of endangered local crops in Germany. This should help to rediscover the value of diversity.

Successful marketing - but how?

The Regulation on Conservation Varieties adopted in 2009 created the legal prerequisite to permit and market seeds of landraces and varieties of agricultural species and vegetable species, which are relevant for the conservation of genetic resources under facilitated conditions. This was an important prerequisite to enable on-farm management of varieties that no longer have seed approval. However, the prerequisite for this is that the legal framework conditions take into account the special features of these niche products.


Dr. Imke Thormann
+49 (0) 228  6845 - 3438
Email:  Imke.Thormann(at)ble(dot)de

Sarah Sensen
+49 (0) 228  6845 - 3543
Email: Sarah.Sensen(at)ble(dot)de

Isabelle Winkler
+49 (0) 228  6845 - 2895
Email: Isabelle.Winkler(at)ble(dot)de

Federal Office for Agriculture
and Food
Unit 331
Deichmanns Aue 29
D-53179 Bonn