The Year of Rye


Call to co-operation partners


Rye is an ancient crop for bread. However, for Estonians it is also a symbol, a not extractable part of the national identity being kept only working jointly. To honour the national crop and focusing public attention to it was the base for the idea to concentrate different event around rye to one year.  The next year 2015 is in many senses very appropriate for this: 170 years from the birth of the famous "rye earl" von Berg and 140 years of the rye variety Sangaste the most ancient winter rye breaded by him. 


On 28th November 2014 the task force lead by Illar Lemetti a deputy secretary general of the Estonian Ministry of Agriculture made the proposal to announce 2015 to the year of rye in Estonia. The members of the task force and founders of the idea of the national year of rye are representatives of the Estonian Rye Association, Olustvere Vocational School, Estonian Plant Breeding Institute, Ministry of Agriculture of Estonia and Sangaste Parish.


The national rye year 2015 was festively announced on December 9th in the Ministry of Agriculture on the presentation of the book "Joy from rye". The opening event of the Year of Rye will be the conference to celebrate the 170th anniversary of the birth of the Rye Earl von Berg on February 14th.


We call you to join our forces to make the Year of Rye to a success and to contribute to the continuity of our bread crop rye.



The executive board of the Estonian Rye Association




Dear colleagues,


The Estonian Rye Association (Eesti Rukki Selts) is a non-governmental organization, which unites active people, individuals and organizations to encourage production and consumption of domestic rye and to keep the rye-related traditions. In close partnership with FAO´s Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia the association is making efforts to establish an international rye network of similar institutions in the countries where the traditions of rye production and consumption are also maintained.

Our aim of the co-operation both in Estonia and abroad in our neighboring countries is to encourage rye usage, winter rye cultivation and to keep historical and cultural heritage. In this purpose we are organizing different events, conferences etc. We are looking forward to erase your and other potential partners' interest as well to co-operate on the „rye field".

Estonian Rye Route, a network of several institutions dealing with research, cultivation, utilization and education on rye is a good example of co-operation. As long-term goal we hope to establish and develop an international network of NGO-s, NPO-s, governmental organizations, companies etc to support the positive trends in rye production and consumption. An international /regional information centre for information exchange could be a part or an instrument of this network.

The next year has declared to be Estonian Year of Rye. The opening ceremony with celebrating of great anniversaries of famous Estonian winter rye variety 'Sangaste' (140 years of breeding) and its breeder Friedrich Georg Magnus von Berg (170 years after his birth) will take place in Sangaste Manor on February 14, 2015. This event will be a perfect start of the Rye Year to commemorate these remarkable occasions and initiate cooperative network!

We would like to start information exchange with linking each others' websites. Please share with us any useful data and information about your activities and also visit our websites and


Looking forward to a mutually fruitful cooperation I remain,


Yours faithfully,

Vahur Kukk

on behalf of the Estonian Rye Association