Garlich von Essen was born in Germany in 1964 and studied agriculture and economics at the University of Göttingen where he graduated in 1990. He started his professional career in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture before taking a scholarship at the College of Europe in Bruges, graduating in administrative and political sciences.
From 1994 to 1999 he worked in the European Parliament where, next to agricultural and structural policy, he worked specifically on the EU’s R&D policy and funding instruments. Joining the European seed industry in 1999 as Director Public Affairs, he became Secretary General of Euroseeds (then ESA European Seed Association) in 2004.
Within Euroseeds, Garlich von Essen is responsible for the overall management of the association and its staff, for the development of strategic policy campaigns on Euroseeds’ priority issues and for the positioning of Europe’s seed industry vis-à-vis EU and international bodies and decision makers. He advises the Euroseeds Board and Executive Committee and takes specific responsibility for outreach and advocacy strategy and planning.
In his personal capacity, he was member of the European Commission’s Stakeholder Dialogue Group, advising on public consultation mechanisms and tools, and is Member of the Board of Trustees of the Max Planck Gesellschaft, Institute for Plant Breeding Research Cologne. He also chaired the AFCC (Agri-Food- Chain Coalition), comprising EU-level associations from agricultural input industries over farmers to trade and food production.
Garlich von Essen regularly lectures on EU public affairs at a number of European institutes and organisations and is a sought-after public speaker on modern association management and agri-food policies. He farms in the North of Germany.