Seed Hub Focus Group

The Gaia Foundation’s Seed Sovereignty Programme has launched a focus group to aid in the creation and support of Seed Hubs throughout the UK and Ireland. This focus group was composed of seed groups around our networks that have already been operating as a seed cooperative, collaboration, or hub group as well as those hoping to start one in the near future. Although there were limited places for these sessions, we are delighted to share the recordings with you.

As we work towards our goal of increasingly localised seed, and as more of our Year-long training graduates seek avenues for selling seed, the need for increased knowledge around legal structures, seed hub challenges and opportunities becomes ever more important. Selling seed collectively can be a great route to market and offers support and continued training opportunities, as well as a chance to pool resources and minimise risk in seed enterprises. Our aim through this Focus Group was to highlight some of the key challenges to be aware of, the most important decisions that will arise, and skillsets a group will require to succeed.

The Focus Group Sessions covered:

  • Building Structures that Last, with Mark Simmonds from Coop Culture – what legal structure and organising techniques will set your cooperative up for long term success 
  • Marketing with Dan Brisebois and Fred Groom – tips from two experienced seed marketers
  • Accounting and Navigating APHA, lessons from the Wales Seed Hub – hear from the UK’s newest seed hub about their financial systems and how they have navigated seed legislation 
  • Accessing Agro Diversity and Seed Processing with Real Seeds – learn from the experts about finding seed to sell and processing that seed well 
  • Technical Workshop, with Anna Clow of the Seed Sovereignty Programme  and London Freedom Seed Bank– an interactive workshop, tailored to the technology you want to use to take your seed hub organising to the next level 

The Seed Hub Focus Group was made possible thanks to Farming the Future.


1. Legal Structures for Selling Seeds with Mark Simmonds from Coop Culture


2. Marketing and Comms


3. Accounting and Navigating APHA


4. Accessing Agro Diversity and Seed Processing


5. Technical Workshop




So You Want to Start a Seed Coop?

This is a guide for setting up a seed selling cooperative written by Katie Hastings, Seed Sovereignty Coordinator for Wales. Published 30th September 2022. We have digital copies available for download alongside other Programme Publications.