Rome 13 May 2014 – This week, the Italian Ministry of Agriculture signed an agreement with AIB (Anti Infringement Bureau) and Breeders Trust. The agreement means that the Food Fraud Detection Inspection of the ministry (ICQRF) and the Inspection Service for seed potatoes and seeds (CRA-SCS) will work closely with AIB and Breeders Trust in targeted actions against infringement of plant variety rights and illegal propagation.
Casper van Kempen, managing director of AIB, which combats the illegal propagation of vegetable seeds: “This agreement formalises the successful collaboration that has existed for some time with the inspection and inspection services of the Ministry of Agriculture. As in many other sectors, it shows that private-public collaboration is very effective in combating piracy.”
Geert Staring, general director of Breeders Trust, which combats illegality and plant breeding rights infringements in seed potatoes and grass seeds, added: AIB and Breeders Trust will regularly exchange market information with the Italian Food Fraud Detection Inspection (ICQRF) and the Inspection Service (CRA-SCS). Training will also be given where necessary, and specialists will be supported technically during examinations of specific plants.
This collaboration must result in Italian growers only using propagating material that meets all quality demands, thus preventing the potential risk of (phytosanitary) diseases. Infringement of plant variety rights will also be tackled with severity.
The Italian Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Maurizio Martina, expressed delight with the agreement: “This agreement gives us the possibility of acting more effectively to protect the rights of seed and seed potato breeding companies. It will contribute to a more effective approach to infringement and illegality. The latter is a priority and of crucial importance for the competitiveness of the Italian agri-food sector. For these reasons, this agreement with AIB and Breeders Trust is of strategic importance for the Italian agrarian sector”, concluded the Minister.