CIOPORA Rose Breeders ask propagators and growers to observe Intellectual Property Rights on the Eve of Valentine’s Day

Hamburg, GERMANY: Thirteen leading cut rose breeders, organised in CIOPORA and its Crop Section Cut Rose IRBA, have called upon players of the rose business to observe and respect breeders’ Intellectual Property rights worldwide. The open letter distributed among cut rose propagators, growers, and their associations raises awareness towards Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) on the eve of Valentine’s Day 2022, the year’s peak global rose consumption.

Increasingly, rose breeders are facing unauthorised propagation of their protected rose varieties in different countries. This illegal practice violates the exclusive rights of breeders, undermines the progress in horticulture, and negatively impacts the trade. By investing in the development of new and improved rose cultivars, breeders lay a foundation for the development of global horticulture. The new and improved rose varieties with a higher yield, resistance to abiotic stresses, longer shelf and vase life, and trendy colours provide competitive advantage and income premiums to the authorised growers and propagators.

The open letter stresses the importance of prior authorisation by a titleholder for any use or sale of a protected variety, including cut flowers or any other part of plants. Plant material obtained from an unauthorised source constitutes a PBR infringement, both in the country where it is produced and the countries where it is sold. While the plants propagated or planted without authorisation are illegal and can be uprooted, the harvested cut flowers are illegal as well and can be seized either at the borders by customs, or at points of storage and sale, in territories where PBR is in force. Therefore, Breeders invite all persons and companies first to contact the PBR titleholder, seeking a written approval and a corresponding license.

CIOPORA Secretary General Dr Edgar Krieger says: “Bringing excellent new varieties to the market, breeders should be able to rely on their partners upholding their end of the bargain. What the cut rose breeders are asking for is the sector’s commitment to fair business practices, where breeders can receive a sufficient return on their high investments in breeding.”

The Chairman of CIOPORA Crop Section Cut Rose IRBA Bruno Etavard comments: “Giving roses on Valentine’s Day has become an ultimate expression of love. The open letter is the breeders’ appeal for more transparency, fairness and mutual respect in the rose production and trade.”

FCI’s publisher’s AIPH represents the ornamental horticulture industry in discussions about the context and implementation of plant breeders’ rights and keeps the industry informed about the latest developments, judicial consequences, and possible solutions through the AIPH Sparring Partner Group (SPG).

Ms Mia Hopperus Buma, AIPH Group Advisor, says this action of CIOPORA and its Crop Section Cut Rose IRBA deserves our support not only in the Valentine period. She says: “Rose breeders invest enormously to provide our industry with good, qualified products. Through our position in representing both grower and breeder, AIPH pleads for a strong and balanced plant breeders’ rights system, as laid down in the UPOV Convention 1991, realising its essential function for a continued supply of qualified propagating material for the whole ornamental horticultural production chain.”

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