patent law on genetics

"Now or never for breeding sector"

Tholen - "The floriculture is a gem of the Dutch economy, but the sector is under pressure," Berry Philippa said at the Sierteelt in Beweging congress, held last Tuesday at Nyenrode Business University, The Netherlands. This congress was organized by the foundation Blooming Breeder of which Philippa is the president. He compared the industry to the textile industry, which for decades has been extremely strong but then, in only a few years time, went down completely. "We are now facing a similar scenario. This should not happen to us."

Berry Philippa opens the congress

Patent law
Aad van der Knaap from KP Holland started off with a plea against patent law on genetics. "Patent law is the biggest threat to a healthy breeding sector. Patent law is a good thing for engineers, it is a good thing for growers, but the patenting of common, natural genetics is ridiculous. Sooner or later a breeder can only use a very limited amount of genetics while paying a high price, or he cannot use it at all. That is a major brake on innovation. If things go on like this, everything will fall into the hands of investors. And what will be the result? An exodus. As we fail to keep succesful football players, we will also loose the succesful enterpreneurs among us to foreign countries."

Aad van der Knaap from KP Holland

Chairman Wendy van Vliet

What to do?
The industry must find a common interest, but the formulation of concrete action proved not that easy. In a statement for the sector, which was presented by Philippa, the sector was compared with a cruise ship and the emphasis was on 'travel together' and 'allow each other something'. Major concepts as sustainability, innovation, investment, education and marketing were all mentioned, but an answer to the problem Van der Knaap raised dit not appear.

Peter van de Pol (Schoneveld Breeding) and Hendrico de Brabander (Noviflora) talk about their co-operation.

The audience listening attentively

Practical examples
Peter van der Pol from Schoneveld Breeding and Hendrico de Brabander from Noviflora told about their co-operation and efforts to differentiate themselves with particular products; Filip van Noort told about his innovations in the production of vanilla (NederVanilla); Helias Andriessen spoke about biodegradable plastics; Marcel Jansen emphasized the importance and opportunities in the field of marketing and Annet Langeslag, category manager of flowers and plants at Albert Heijn, shared with the audience the supermarkt's vision on sustainability.


On the front row (left to right) Berry Philippa, Aad van der Knaap, Marcel Jansen and Annet Langeslag

Filip van Noort tells about Nedervanille. "One of the possibilities for developing our industry might be product diversification."

Helias Andriessen talks about his start-up Plantics, a spin-off of University of Amsterdam, which has developed a fully biodegradable plastic. "This can save thousands of tons of waste per year," Andriessen ensures.

Marcel Andriessen from Strom creative marketing about the possibilities in the field of marketing.

Annet Langeslag, category manager of flowers and plants at Albert Heijn, about the importance of sustainability.

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