The British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB) has appointed Stephanie Spiers as the its new head of business operations for the organisation.

Stephanie Spiers

The representative body for the UK plant breeding industry said Spiers will lead the BSPB following Samantha Brooke’s departure from the role in August.

Spiers joined the BSPB in 2016 and has worked alongside its previous two leaders in the restructuring of the organisation’s royalty collection system – which sees farm-saved seed declarations go digital with a website payment portal.

Spiers leads a team of 12 who are based at the organisation’s head office in Ely. She has also been part of a group that has helped to push through the recent Precision Breeding Bill.

Speaking on her appointment, Spiers said: “I have enjoyed representing our members in the plant breeding industry and it is an honour to be leading the BSPB forward.”


The BSPB acts on members’ behalf, BSPB licenses, collects and distributes certified seed royalties and farm-saved seed payments of agricultural and horticultural crops.

The society represents its members interests on technical, regulatory and intellectual property matters and works to promote innovation and investment in UK plant breeding.

Speaking on her role in the BSPB’s new royalty collection system, Spiers said: “Declarations are a vital part of ensuring the profitability, research and development of plant breeding.

“Recent studies have shown that arable crop production throughout Europe would be 20% lower without the genetic crop improvements that plant breeding has brought.”

Spiers said her Ely-based team offer agriculture “a wealth of experience, help and advice”.

“Our goal is to continue to support our members and partners by advocating the benefits of plant breeding and how it can provide the answers to agricultural productivity and food security in the future,” she said.