Breeders Trust signs cooperative agreement with grass seed companies

Brussels, August 25th 2011 – Breeders Trust has entered into cooperation agreements with three grass seed companies in an effort to consolidate forces in the fight against illegal trade practices and to monitor the enforcement of Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR). Just like the seed potato industry, the grass seed sector is susceptible to illegal production, processing and trade as well as violation of plant breeders’ rights. Three grass seed companies – DLF Trifolium, Barenbrug and Eurograss – have already signed joint ventures with Breeders Trust. ”It is expected that in the short term more grass seed companies will follow suit”, says Geert Staring, General Manager of the Brussels-based Breeders Trust. Gert van Straalen, Board member of DLF-Trifolium, is happy about the collaboration. In tracking down international illegal practices, we will now employ the expertise and experience of Breeders Trust, who know the terrain and are specialised in the fight against illegal practices.

The use of a new cultivar with a PBR protection for which no licensing fees are paid and international illegal production as well as trade of propagation material has been a thorn in the side of breeding companies for years. Breeders lose out on licensing monies, the market is significantly disrupted and retailers suffer damages due to loss of exclusivity and injury to reputation. Breeders Trust was founded specifically to put an end to this unfair use and illegal trade of plant propagation material.

Breeders Trust was in the news earlier this year by successfully acting against the illegal propagation of uncertified propagation material (to be used solely by the party that produced it) in Belgium and by later making clear agreements about this with agricultural organisations. Breeders Trust is also active in other European countries concerning exposing illegal practices. For Breeders Trust, this expansion of activities represents a broader employment of its knowledge and experience and the further development of more specific expertise. “This gives Breeders Trust an even stronger foundation”, says Geert Staring.

Breeders Trust’s success in the seed potato industry has spread to other agricultural sectors. By making the importance of respecting plant breeders’ rights clear to everyone and by promoting fair trade, Breeders Trust is in actuality aiming to render its services redundant, even though we are not merely a short-term solution, emphasizes Geert Staring. “Companies that consistently comply with EU regulations regarding the production and sale of propagation material have absolutely nothing to fear and advocate this initiative”, finishes Gert van Straalen.