Irish Seed Savers Association is now launching an Appeal Campaign to ensure the survival of the organisation and to enable us to continue Irish Seed Savers important work.
Many of you will be aware of the Associations recent struggles. We have for the past number of years been receiving grant aid from the Department of Agriculture to help support our important work in saving Ireland’s agricultural heritage. Projects such as the creation of a new research orchard at Irish Seed Savers containing all of our Irish Heritage Apple cultivars have been made possible as a result of this funding. Unfortunately like many others, we have experienced quite severe cuts over the past couple of years and this together with the economic downturn has meant that despite our best efforts we continue to operate at an unsustainable level financially. This has lead to a situation where the continued operations and very survival of Irish Seed Savers is in jeopardy.
The achievements to date are numerous and include the construction of a new Seed Bank, our Potato Barn, the new Apple Orchard, 800 varieties of seed together with their stories collected and carefully grown out to bulk up the numbers; the study and research and recording of the true Irish varieties.
We have also shared our skills and knowledge on seed saving and other sustainable living skills to thousands of children and adults though workshops, courses, camps and outreach programmes. This knowledge and seed base means that Ireland continues to have some control over its future food security in times of climate change and diminishing resources worldwide. All this work having grown and expanded from very humble beginnings.
The future of our food in Ireland is at present still extremely insecure and protective seed legislation has yet to be passed and is a long way off from being satisfactory. Unless we as a nation have the right to grow our own seed, save our own seed and share our seed, we don’t have food security. Growing our own food is simply the best way forward.
The work that Irish Seed Savers does is too important to give up without a fight so we began by applying a raft of painful cost cutting measures, chief among them significant cuts to staffs’ working hours and wages. Over the last two years, the cuts voluntarily sustained by the staff, from an already low base, is a reflection on their commitment to the ethos of Irish Seed Savers.
We continue to adapt to our decreased funding from public and other sources while actively seeking out new funding sources and innovating ways of increasing our revenue. However organisations such as ourselves cannot function in ‘normal’ business terms and we have to rely on the good will of our friends and supporters on an on-going basis.
And this is where you come in…..
This appeal is to YOU, our friends and supporters and through you to all those interested in securing a sustainable future for Seed Savers and the important work it undertakes on behalf of the people of Ireland.
How can you can help Irish Seed Savers Association survive?
We are looking at many ways and welcome any suggestions and offers you may have but in this first instance we suggest the following four pathways that you can contribute to which will help to ensure our survival. If you can help in all four areas, you quadruple the chances of our sustainability.
1. By making an emergency donation to help kick start our Appeal
We know things are tough but any donation will really make a difference to us and help secure a sustainable future. click here for further information
For €10 every three months, you can really make a difference and help our organisation in a very meaningful way. And there are rewarding benefits for you too. For those wishing to join or for those who wish to renew their supporter subscriptions click here to read the benefits.
3. By attending Events and Workshops
Irish Seed Savers, as part of its revenue increasing strategy will increase its event days. Please try and attend and bring along somebody. Take the time to put these dates in your diary click here for further information
4. By shopping at www.irishseedsavers.ie for all your gardening needs
In order to become more sustainable, we need to sell more trees and seeds. Our trees and seeds are of the highest quality available. They are grown traditionally and organically and each tree and seed has its own history and story for you to keep for the next generation. Who could you buy seeds or trees for? Is there a new baby? A birthday? A wedding anniversary? click here for further information
Remember that YOUR HELP is important so please ACT NOW.