Where SPI Seeds Come From

Seed Programs International

SPI Seed Distribution & HarvestsSeed Programs International works by reclaiming seeds from the seed industry that might otherwise go to waste. Our seed donors include companies of diverse size and location, and you can see our seed donor list on our sponsors page. We accept donations of both hybrid and open-pollinated seed so we can offer our project partners a choice that is most appropriate for their programs. For example, if a project will teach seed saving methods, they will choose open-pollinated seed. We do not accept donations of GMO seed.

In most cases, seed is donated to SPI because seed companies have simply produced more of a particular variety of seed than they can expect to sell during the seed’s lifetime. SPI maintains relationships with seed companies so they can find a home for these unmarketable seeds. They choose to donate this excess to SPI in order to help feed the world – an ultimate example of what is known as upcycling: turning trash into treasure!

SPI, in turn, researches each variety to ensure that it is a good match for the climates, contexts, and cultures where our seed is needed.

In certain cases, SPI can play a special role for the seed industry: we accept seed that would have minor issues in the hands of commercial growers, but will produce great food for people facing hunger. Say, for example, that 20% of a production lot of carrot seed grows carrots a little too short for the specifications of commercial growers. There’s no way to sort out the two types of carrot seed. It all looks the same. So, the entire lot of carrot seed is now unmarketable. But it’s still a source of great food, and SPI’s role is to get this seed to those people worldwide who need it most.

In all cases, the companies donate the seed in bulk, in large sacks or packages. SPI keeps seed stored and quality tested. We fill small paper packets, printed in appropriate languages, for use to relieve hunger and malnutrition worldwide.

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Contact Us

Seed Programs International

PO Box 9163
Asheville, NC 28815


Seed Programs Canada (Affiliate)

Registered Charity No. 839858107RR0001
Lombardy, ON

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Seed Programs International (SPI)

Seed Programs InternationalSeed Programs International (SPI) is a non-profit, tax exempt, non-governmental humanitarian organization.

We work thorough other humanitarian organizations, church groups, service clubs and individual donors, to provide quality seed to impoverished communities in developing countries enabling them to grow some of their own food. In addition to seed, SPI provides critical seed expertise and experience operating seed based self help programs.”

SPI is operated by individuals with over 50 years seed industry experience plus over 20 years experience in vegetable research and production. We also have 15 years experience operating programs that have successfully shipped seed to over 70 countries on five continents. SPI has shipped enough seed to plant over 1,000,000 vegetable gardens, providing more than 20 kinds of vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals often missing in people’s diets.