Annual Report 2015

“The Crop Trust is fortunate to have support from across the world.” Marie Haga
Executive Director of the Crop Trust

Key figures

The Crop Trust Seed Vault

Crop Varieties sent from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to Morocco and Lebanon38,073

Varieties available

Varieties available 572,425

Crop Varieties Available in International Collections

Grant Expenditure Provided for Conservation USD 28.4M

Grant Expenditure Provided to Conserve Crop Diversity Globally
USD 28.4M
Training for collecting

Collecting Guides Developed14

Country Specific Collecting Guides for Crop Wild Relatives Developed
Countries receiving variety samples

Countries receiving samples 114

Number of countries receiving samples from Crop Trust supported collections
Variety records added

Grant Expenditure Provided for Gap Filling USD 1.375M

Grant Expenditure provided in support of collecting and conserving crop wild relatives (including capacity building)
USD 1.375M


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Walter Fust

"Crop diversity is one of the defining issues of our times."
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Marie Haga

"The global system we are building together is all at once inspiring, exciting, and absolutely essential."

What we do Pt. 1

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Global Genebank Partnership

"It is both individual and collective genebank efforts that are bringing crop conservation into the twenty-first century."
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Crop Wild Relatives

"An ambitious idea to adapt agriculture has become a reality."
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Svalbard Global Seed Vault

"The Seed Vault made history in 2015 with the first ever seed retrieval."

What we do Pt. 2

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Information Systems

"Managing data within the walls of a genebank, and sharing that data with the world, are two different, but not isolated, challenges."
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Quality Management Systems

"You set new goals as time goes by, so you are on a constant, steady course of improvement."
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Global Strategies

"Building a global system for conservation requires strategic thinking."

The Crop Trust

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"You set new goals as time goes by, so you are on a constant, steady course of improvement."
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Human resources

Being small in number, we depend on the exceptional competence and commitment of our staff.
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"All our governance activities were organized with a dedication to keeping the Crop Trust’s decision-making open."

Take action

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Take action

"A world that loses diversity, loses options for the future."
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Spreading The Message

"Why is it so important to safeguard crop diversity?"
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Thank you

"We often say that we are a small organization with a big job. We don’t mean it as a complaint; that is how we always planned it to be. It means that we don’t need a lot of support, but our mission does."


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Financial Statement

Grants to conserve crop diversity world wide increased in 2015
USD 25.1 Million
USD 28.4 Million


Crop Trust

Securing our food, forever

The Crop Trust is fortunate to have support from across the world all dedicated to the future of food security, agriculture and biodiversity.

The Crop Trust would like to thank the following people for their support for this year’s annual report: Ambassador Walter Fust, Sir Peter Crane, The Crop Trust Staff, the Genebank Managers of the CGIAR, Paul Cox, Epic Agency, Getty Images Reportage.

Platz der Vereinten Nationen 7
53113 Bonn, Germany

Highlights of the year


What we do Pt. 2

Close the topic
What we do Pt. 2:

Genebank Operations

The Pursuit Of Higher Quality

A genebank is not quite like any other facility. The demands of conserving crops forever – not to mention collecting, testing, documenting, regenerating, safety duplicating and distributing them – are constant and complex and intensive.

Quality is not an end-point, it’s a process, and at the Crop Trust we believe genebanks need a strong quality management system (QMS) to guide and maintain the process to sustained excellence.

The task that began in 2014 to strengthen and systematize quality management in genebanks continued this year with the documentation of operating procedures in four international genebanks. Janny van Beem, Genebank Quality Specialist, spent 10-20 days each at the genebanks of IRRI in the Philippines, CIAT in Colombia, AfricaRice in Benin and ICRISAT in India. Together with the staff, she started developing detailed plans for quality management of these already world-class facilities.

As a result of the collective efforts of dozens of genebank personnel, key components of quality management, such as standard operating procedures (SOPs) and risk assessment and mitigation plans, are now in place.

In addition, two global workshops took place, bringing together key staff to review all genebank processes and activities from a quality management perspective, from data management to succession planning. The Genebank Operations and Advanced Learning (GOAL) workshops were held in Cali, Colombia in May and New Delhi, India in November. The Cali workshop brought together 35 participants from 9 institutes, mostly from the Americas. The Delhi workshop was organized collaboratively with the Crawford Foundation and brought together 23 attendees from 13 Asian countries. With an enthusiastic reception from the participants, we plan for these to be the first of several GOAL workshops to come.

Interview with Janny van Beem, Genebank Quality Specialist

  • What was the biggest achievement this year in improving the quality management of the genebanks you worked with?

    The biggest achievement was to develop individualized improvement plans and to start to execute the plans via capacity building, purchasing of equipment and collaborative activities with other banks. There is a deep sense of pride among genebank staff, especially national staff, and it was very satisfying to see them actively engaging in writing their procedures, validating methodologies and calibrating equipment.

  • When will these quality improvement plans be implemented?

    In QMS there are successive cycles of improvement. The CGIAR genebanks initiated this two-year improvement cycle in 2014 with five goals to be accomplished by the end of 2016. The goals within the improvement cycles aim to train staff to do their jobs better, improve the infrastructure of genebanks and validate methodologies, among other things. New goals are set within each cycle to provide a continuous course of improvements.

  • What kinds of genebanks need QMS?

    The Genebank QMS we are developing is intended to be useful for any genebank, but initially we’ve started out implementing it in the 11 international genebanks that participate in the Genebanks CRP -- that’s the CGIAR Research Project supporting the CGIAR genebanks. Through the participation of national genebanks in the GOAL workshops, we are also actively engaged in encouraging higher standards to be implemented also by these genebanks. We have had participation from national genebanks from Colombia, Ecuador, Nigeria, the Philippines, and others. If you’re a genebank, however small, you need a quality management system. You can’t leave anything to chance. Seeds are too precious.

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