The prestigious magazine European Seed has published a list of the 20 most influential people in the world of seeds, based on their breeding work at European level. This list includes three Spaniards: Eduardo Fitó, Antonio Villarroel and Vicente Navarro.
Eduardo Fitó, president of the International Seed Federation, ISF
Fitó is the director of the Catalan company Semillas Fitó, where he has held various roles since 1994. Between 2002 and 2012, he focused on the development of vegetables and field crops, and since 2018, he is president of the International Seed Federation.
Research is essential for the development of new plant varieties, and the president of the ISF considers it essential to showcase the work of breeders to the public, as they strive for a more sustainable agriculture, making quality seeds available to producers and fully guaranteeing food safety.
For Fitó, innovation is the means to provide consumers with fresh food at any time of the year and at an affordable price.
Antonio Villarroel, general secretary of the National Association of Vegetable Producers (Anove) and treasurer of the Executive Committee of ESA
Antonio Villarroel has worked in the plant improvement sector for more than 20 years, defending the interests of the seed industry. He currently chairs the Working Group 'Illegal Seed Practices' in the Intellectual Property Committee of the International Seed Federation.
In addition to his work for Anove, he is also the CEO of Gelive, an organization that provides professional management, inspection, technical assistance, consulting and legal defense services to breeders and owners of the industrial property rights of more than 1,500 plant varieties and 100 registered trademarks.
Villarroel stands strongly behind intellectual property and collaborates in its protection.
Vicente Navarro, Senior Vice President of Vegetable Seeds BASF
Vicente Navarro is president of the Horticultural and Ornamental Crops Section of the Council of the International Seed Federation. In this position, he has led the launch of a project that aimed to correct the lack of harmonization between different countries when it comes to the implementation of the ISPM (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures).
His work as president has always been oriented towards the promotion of dialogue, raising awareness about the risks involved in spreading illegal vegetables. Navarro has worked proactively to address consumers and agricultural producers in order to outline the contribution that the seed industry is making to society and to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN.
Spain is an important link in the seed industry. In 2021, Barcelona will be the host of the ISF World Seed Congress, an event that brings together different professionals of the seed industry, and which contributes to boosting the value of research and development of new plant varieties.