Why Do We Need So Many Seeds?

We’re often asked, “Why do you need more than 6,000 tomato varieties in your collection?”

Without fail, we reply, Which one would you throw out?

Each variety preserved in Seed Savers Exchange’s collection is a unique piece of a grand genetic puzzle and, as such, may hold the key to solving one of the world’s most pressing problems: crop susceptibility to drought, pests, or disease.

Make no mistake about it—the future of our global food supply is at risk. Over the last century, a staggering 75 percent of the world’s crop diversity has become extinct. That sharp decrease in seed diversity has, in turn, increased the vulnerability of our remaining crops to disease and climate change.

It’s not too late to protect our food supply for future generations. But we must act now.

For more than 40 years, people who care deeply about seed diversity—people like you—have supported our grassroots efforts to find and save the adaptable, climate-ready seeds that have been shared within communities for generations. Together, we have accomplished much. But there’s still much more we can do.

With You, There Is Hope

Your support fuels the fight for seed sovereignty and the free exchange of seeds within communities. Your support provides hope for tomorrow. Your investment helps us regenerate seeds from our living collection of more than 25,000 varieties stored in a seed vault at our Heritage Farm headquarters. Our mission is to move seeds from that vault into the hands of gardeners.

Please help us continue this important work. It costs nearly $1,000 per variety to grow, test, evaluate, preserve, and share a new seed. Seed Savers Exchange receives no federal funding—our work continues only because of the generosity of people like you who possess the passion to protect our seed supply for future generations.

Our seed supply is at a critical juncture. It’s truly up to all of us to ensure that the seeds that remain are preserved for future generations. We need to get this right.