Sherry Manning, Founder and CEO, Global Seed Savers

Hello Wonderful Global Seed Savers Community-

As the year draws to a close the GSS Team has spent important time in reflection on all that happened this year and looking ahead to our plans and goals for 2024. The theme of 2023 has been transitions and we have had our fair share of those this year. With each change and shift in our team, our internal operations, and our partner expansions, we have been maturing and refining how we execute our work to ensure the greatest impact towards our mission of building food and seed sovereignty across the Philippines. 

Transitions can also be disruptive and cause people and organizations to feel uneasy. However, as I have been reflecting on this big year of transitions for us, I have been struck with the reality that GSS is a resilient organization! Just like the seeds our dedicated partner farmers sow and save, we have navigated the changes this year brought and are a better, stronger, and a more focused organization, not in spite of these challenges… but because of them! 

In 2024, we will be welcoming two new Philippines Team Members, expanding our partner communities to new regions across the Philippines, and deepening our local policy development through launching our Participatory Seed Governance Program to ensure the preservation of important heritage seeds across the Philippines. 

Our mission has never been more essential as the impacts of climate realities continue to threaten our partner communities. Seeds are a simple, but powerful tool to build community, preserve culture, and ensure that all communities can feed their families and sustain their livelihoods with regenerative practices. There is so much to look forward to for GSS and we are grateful to have you in our community! 

From all of us at Global Seed Savers we wish you and yours restful and peaceful year end festivities and here’s to all 2024 will bring! 

Save Seeds. Grow Food. Celebrate Heritage!

Hal Atienza, Philippines Executive Director, Global Seed Savers

It brings me great pride and pleasure to reflect on our remarkable journey as we close the year 2023. I joined the Global Seed Savers in April of this year, and I am honored to share some of the key milestones we have made as a collective force for positive change.

In collaboration with our dedicated team, our CEO/founder Sherry Manning, and the board members, we successfully facilitated the formulation of our comprehensive 5-year strategic plan. It serves as our roadmap in navigating the challenges ahead and ensuring that our mission to safeguard biodiversity and empower communities through seed saving remains impactful.

A crucial aspect of our progress has been the thorough review and standardization of policies across the key areas, including administration, finance, human resources, and program
management. It not only streamlined our operations, but also fortified the foundation upon which Global Seed Savers stands.

One of our significant accomplishments this year is that we defined our advocacy agenda on seed sovereignty. It focuses on three fundamental elements: seed self-sufficiency, seed
security, and seed justice. Hence, vision-mission statement coins well with our slogan on Save Seed, Grow Food, Celebrate Heritage. It puts to frame our resolve to protect and
promote the rights of the smallholders and family farmers in our seed-saving communities.

In our pursuit of excellence, we’ve implemented stringent protocols for program standards. These include the organizational and fortification efforts within seed-saving communities, a thorough review of seed school modules, and the adoption of the Participatory Seed Governance (PSG), an engagement framework for inclusive policy-making processes for a more meaningful stakeholdership. We are ready to implement our Seeds Inventory and Tracking System (SITS) as a methodical approach to documenting our seed-saving tasks, seed mapping, and seed library management.

As we reflect on these accomplishments, let us acknowledge the collective dedication and passion that each of the members of the Global Seed Savers family has contributed. It is through our shared commitment that we have been able to make such significant strides in a relatively short period.

The challenges ahead may be many, but our spirit is indomitable. Together, we will continue to be champions of seed sovereignty, regenerative agriculture, and community empowerment. The seeds we sow today are the harvests of a resilient and flourishing future for the next generation.

To my Global Seed Savers team, partners, and seed-saving communities, thank you for your unwavering support, dedication, and hard work. I wish you all a joyous holiday season and a new year filled with continued success and positive impact.

Let us seed forward in our passion to save seeds, grow food, and celebrate heritage.