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Bingenheimer Saatgut AG - Part of an economic partnership

Are you one of our new customers who would like to know

• where your organic seed is coming from

• what motivates us here in Bingenheim

• and how our small limited company differs from others?

Or are you one of the many faithful customers who have known about us for many years? Read here more about the background of the Bingenheimer Saatgut AG.

Bingenheimer Saatgut AG Team 2018

Open pollinated varieties as a symbol of sustainable economy

Bingenheimer Saatgut AG trades exclusively in open pollinated varieties of organic seeds and plants. These are capable of producing fertile seeds in the way plants naturally do. Open pollinated varieties thus connect the past and future development of cultivated plants and stand as a symbol for a sustainable economy.

Bingenheimer Saatgut AG works in close cooperation with seed producers and the charity Kultursaat e. V., whose aim is to breed and develop open pollinated plant varieties for organic vegetable growers. The Kultursaat breeders work on-farm in about 25 different places across German speaking Europe. Exchanges taking place within the network of seed producers and breeders provides the soil out of which our work can grow and flourish.

Bingenheim seed throughout Europe

We market our seed all over the European Union and occasionally also beyond the internal market. We are always looking for close marketing partnerships in European countries. An example of such a partnership is our cooperation with the Belgian firm Biosano which sells our seeds in Belgium and Holland and offers customers a local advisory service.

Alternatives to GM-like breeding and hybrids

The seeds from which Bingenheimer Saatgut AG has grown were sown more than 30 years ago when a group of concerned Demeter gardeners came together as part of the 'Initiative Group for Biodynamic Vegetable Seeds'. They recognised already back then in the 1980s that the question of seeds would become a key issue for organic growers.

They experienced how the dominance of hybrid varieties led to a dramatic decline in the availability of open pollinated seeds and with it the possibility for natural propagation. The Initiative Group saw with concern how highly technical (GM-like) plant breeding methods were threatening the foundations of organic vegetable production. New plant breeding technologies were continually being adopted by conventional plant breeders and this threw up further questions for organic horticulture.

Come and join the network

The network of Kultursaat breeders, organic seed producers and Bingenheimer Saatgut AG are determined to offer an alternative to what conventional sources provide by making seed available that is grown under organic and biodynamic conditions. This is where we would like to make our contribution - towards maintaining and encouraging the production of a diverse range of varieties for both field and garden. If you as a market gardener with an organic field would like to strengthen our network then please feel invited to attend one of the next meetings of the Initiative Group.

The network today in figures:

  • Bingenheimer Saatgut AG is currently working in four buildings with around 50 co-workers.
  • 88 market gardens are producing biodynamic and organic seeds.
  • Ca. 45,000 customers obtain seed from Bingenheim and grow open pollinated varieties.
  • Countless amateur gardeners buy Bingenheim seed through health food shops.
  • 119 shareholders representing organic agriculture, trade and processing, are partners to the company’s work.
  • The charitable association Kultursaat e.V. cares for more than 90 new biodynamic varieties and maintains a further 19.

Varieties are our cultural heritage

Seed is far more than a means of production. It is the starting point for every kind of food culture. We are convinced that varieties and / DNA sequences should never be privately owned.

As a counter model to that of biopatenting, Kultursaat e. V. is very keen to maintain varieties and protect them as part of the cultural heritage of humanity. This is what drives the Association to breed and develop fertile open pollinated varieties. Many members of the Initiative Group have become members of Kultursaate.V. - some have since become active breeders while others have focused on seed multiplication.

Social economy, the basis of business activity

When Bingenheimer Saatgut AG was founded as a company limited by shares in 2001, its founders set up the new organisation to carry on the work started by the Initiative Group.

Apart from the objectives relating to organic seeds that are described in the text, our work is orientated around the following principles:

• Continued work on developing forms of social economy

• Mutual perceptiveness and transparency in our business relationships

• Creation of work opportunities for people with special needs

Partnerships and long term economic relationships play an important role in this. We aim to share information with our customers openly and fairly.

Bingenheimer Saatgut AG sees its task as mediating between the opportunities and limitations of plant breeding, the production of seed and the requirements of gardeners. Dialogue with customers, breeders and the health food trade, such as for instance takes place on Variety Open Days, is an important part of our business activity.

Inner connection to organic seed work

The ownership arrangements of the company also point in a different direction: We only offer named registered shares, which means the shares are issued in the name of the buyer. Both management and share holders are keen to ensure that new shareholders form a connection with the seed work.

The circle of shareholders includes the Software AG Stiftung, the Bingenheim House Community, seed suppliers and customers as well other supportive institutions.

If you would like to become a shareholder of Bingenheimer Saatgut AG please make contact and request a share prospectus.

You can join and become a member of Kultursaat e. V. and help with the further development and care of a cultural commodity.

Historical development - key milestones

Historical development - key milestones
1975The idea of biodydynamic seed was born among keen gardeners
1985Marketing of seed (biodynamic and organic) via Allerleirauh GmbH, Bingenheim
1994Kultursaat e.V. was founded by the Seed Initiative Group
1995Building of the first seed processing workshop
2001Bingenheimer Saatgut AG was founded
2008Building of new seed cleaning and warehousing facilities
2014Building of a new seed testing laboratory and air conditioned storage
2016New webshop online: bilingual, clear, flexible
2017Build a polytunnel, cool room and processing area for the research section and a further cold store for seeds. Renovation of the old seed workshop.
2018The first breeding and variety day in Bingenheim. Opening of the new storage warehouse.