Dutch breeders are concerned about Brexit

Concerns about DUS testing chrysanthemum varieties after Brexit - photo: newPlantsandFlowers

Concerns about DUS testing chrysanthemum varieties after Brexit – photo: newPlantsandFlowers

Barely a year and a half before Brexit, the departure of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) the possible changes for the horticultural sector in Europe are still uncertain. In an article in Buitenstebinnen, the biannual magazine of Naktuinbouw (the Netherlands Inspection Service for Horticulture) several representatives of breeders, propagators and royalty management agents show their concerns about the consequences for Plant Breeders’ Rights. In the worst case breeders in Europe and UK might after the Brexit be confronted with extra costs due to double administration.
Maarten Leune of Dutch-based Royalty Administration International (RAI) is especially worried about the testing of Distinct, Uniform and Stable (DUS) conducted by the NIAB in Cambridge (UK). A number of years ago NIAB has been awarded EU approval for its plant variety DUS testing of a range of species, as part of a European-wide assessment by the European Union Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO). One of the ornamentals is Chrysanthemum. The DUS testing of this species is in particular important for Dutch breeders. Assuming that these NIAB- activities will have to be transferred to another EU country, chrysanthemum breeders in Netherlands already asked Naktuinbouw to be prepared to take over the DUS-testing.
Over 100 genera and species
NIAB undertakes comparative growing trials on new varieties of a great number of ornamentals to see if they meet the criteria for grant of Plant Breeders Rights (PBR). The institute works on a very broad range of crops in over 100 genera and species but is specialized in cut flower and pot chrysanthemums, roses, dahlias, herbaceous perennials, woody plants, and a wide range of basket and container plants. Trials are conducted under glass or in our 2ha outdoor trial site, which has facilities for field planting but also for shade or protected growing.