AGM 2015 was divided into four main parts: Intellectual Property (IP) Discussions, Administrative Part, Open & General Interest Part, and Business Excursions.
Getting Down to Business: Approval of IP Position Papers and CIOPORA Strategy
Each year, AGM provides a platform for innovative breeders from the ornamental and fruit sectors, as well as intellectual property (IP) experts, to discuss the current system of IP protection for plant innovation and ultimately design the blueprint for CIOPORA’s position on IP for plants. AGM 2015 was no exception, and CIOPORA members voted to approve the IP Position Paper on General Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) Matters. This paper contains the CIOPORA positions on matters such as:
- the process of application and granting ,
- conditions for protection (e.g. novelty),
- DUS examinations,
- ownership of plants, DUS reports and DNA samples and analyses
- variety denomination,
- compulsory licenses,
- duration and cost of protection,
- provisional protection, and
- enforcement of PBR and its cost.
In addition to General PBR Matters, AGM participants unanimously approved a strategy proposal which recommends that CIOPORA broadens its focus toward Patents and Biodiversity, increases educational activities for members and provides assistance in enforcement activities of groups of members.
AGM participants also approved new rules on CIOPORA’s decision making process in technical matters. As part of this new structure, CIOPORA Members and Crop Sections appointed Head Technical Experts to help gain deeper insight into the discussions of all technical matters related to CIOPORA in all bodies where CIOPORA is party or observer. The Fruit Crop Section appointed Mr. Burgert van Dyk, SAPO Trust, South Africa, as Head Technical Expert (HTE) and Ms. Yael Victoria Miara, Grapa Ltd., Israel, as Vice HTE. Positions for the Ornamental Crop Section will be appointed in the coming weeks.
General Interest, Networking and Hands-On Tours
While the main objective of the AGM is discussion on IP rights, the event also provides a platform for both CIOPORA members and non-member companies from the ornamental and fruit sectors to engage in discussions on a series of topics that are currently shaping horticulture around the world. These discussions were facilitated during the Open & General Interest Part on Wednesday, April 29, and Business Excursions on Thursday, April 30.
During the Open Part, AGM participants heard from international lawyers as well as marketing and innovation experts. Presentation topics included:
- International System of Cooperation: Facilitating application for Plant Variety Rights Worldwide
- Consequences of Broccoli and Tomato Decision of the European Patent Office (EPO)
- Implementation of Nagoya Protocol in the European Union
- New Trends in Consumer Oriented Approach to Flower Marketing
- The Power of Brand: Four Steps to Maximize Growth in Challenging Markets
- Variety Innovation in the German Fruit Industry
On the final day of AGM, participants split into two groups – one for ornamentals and one for fruits – for specialized business excursion tours within Hamburg and the surrounding areas. The ornamental excursion included visits to the brand new concept store of Blume2000, a leading German floral retailer, and tours of Rosen Tantau as well as Hachmann Rhododendron Nursery. For the fruit excursion, AGM participants visited the Esteburg Center of Fruit Production in Jork, Germany, where they heard from researchers and fruit breeders on current issues in breeding and new varieties. The fruit excursion also included outings to the organic fruit farm Rolker Ökofrucht GmbH and a tour of apple and cherry orchards at the Fruit Research Center Esteburg.
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