History of ISTA - The Irish Seed Trade Association

The Irish Seed Trade Association, ISTA, was inaugurated in 1914. 100 year celebrations were held in 2014 at the centenary Crop Walk at the Crop Variety Evaluation Centre, Backweston, Leixlip, Co. Kildare, hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Since its inception the Irish Seed Trade Association has been closely associated with the development of Irish agriculture, which has steadily progressed from being a largely farm-based enterprise into one of the most modern, competitive agri-food industries in the modern world. It has also played an important role in supporting the competitiveness of the Irish tillage sector through developing and promoting the widespread use of superior crop varieties and stressing the economic advantages of using high quality, native certified seed.

"The minutes (of ISTA meetings) of some 50 to 60 years ago look familiar even today. Topics discussed included delays in seed testing, a decline in tillage, contract forms, the certification scheme, variety trials and so forth."   Patrick O’Meara, Secretary of ISTA, 2013 annual report