Pot and bedding plant breeders united in a successful 2019 campaign against illegal propagation of legally protected varieties.
Nine breeders and six main countries
Nine top pot and bedding plant breeders, all Fleuroselect member, supported the campaign which covered production areas in six main countries: Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia. Growers were visited at random and checks were carried out to determine if finished plant production matched deliveries of cuttings. As in previous years, we worked in partnership with Royalty Administration International, worldwide specialist in plant breeders' rights, licensing agreements and royalties.
While there are certainly differences in the various regions, the campaign revealed that 34% of the growers visited has some form of illegal reproduction. The growers with illegal reproduction were fined on top of having to pay the royalties that were not paid. Our breeder members point out that the intention of the campaign is not to name or shame any individual grower but to create awareness that illegal reproduction is not tolerated.
Karol Pawlak, President of Fleuroselect: “It is in the interest of all in the production and distribution chain that only plants for which the Royalties have been paid reach the market place. The final consumer has a right to buy plants which are legally produced. Growers respecting intellectual property already welcome the campaign as it creates a fair playing field.”
Investment in breeding
Our breeders invest up to 25% of their profit into breeding in order to bring innovations to the market. These new varieties can command higher retail prices or may have been bred to lower production costs. They therefore bring higher margins for the growers. The licence fee is a fair way of sharing these costs.
We have also set up a whistle blower tip line in order to report suspicions on illegal reproduction. Anyone active in plant production and distribution is welcome to use this tip line by:
- Calling the dedicated tip line phone on 0031 (0)85 0645251
- Sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Completing the dedicated form on the Fleuroselect website.
The line has already created a buzz in the industry and this is expected to increase. All tips are considered highly confidential and are collected by the Fleuroselect Secretariat. The name of the person providing the tip is never revealed. Tips are screened and passed to Royalty Administration International and may be included at random in a future round of controls.
We intend to repeat the campaign again in 2020. In addition to improving grower awareness, it intends to add Information activities to raise awareness towards international distributors and retailers.