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IFEX Tokyo:

Japan: Growing for domestic market, breeding for international market

At the IFEX in Tokyo, many Japanese potted plant and flower growers are showcasing their varieties, including their own bred varieties. Regarding finished plants and flowers, Japan is really an importing country and does not export that much; growers mainly supply the domestic market. However, looking at breeding, Japanese breeders are eager to enter the international market. Also growers who are breeding their own varieties want to export them, because they do not want to create their own competitors on the Japanese market, where their products are already being distributed.

Kentaro Manabe of Japan Plants Patent Corporation (JPP Japan).

A company that is supporting the Japanese breeders in exporting their new plant varieties is Japan Plants Patent Corporation (JPP). In a presentation, which was held today at the IFEX in Japan, Tokyo, Brian Upchurch of JPP North America explained that they can support breeders in successfully introducing a new plant variety into a different market. Not only introducing Japanese varieties in other countries, but also the other way around; introducing varieties from North America and Europe, for example, into Japan.

Presentation held at the IFEX in Japan.

JPP conducts market assessments of the new genetics. They investigate whether the product fits the market and the customers' needs. Then they also import and export the new genetics and conduct some evaluation trials. In these trails, the new genetics are put in the new environment. Then it can be evaluated how the plant behaves in that different environment. Besides that, they account for the legal production of patents and trademarks. "In this way, the breeder and nursery are protected. So, there will be no unfair competition as we can control the market a bit by offering this service," explains Brian Upchurch.

After this, the product can be cultivated by growers abroad, which are also introduced to the breeders by JPP. During cultivation, JPP keeps an eye on the cultivation process. "During the propagation, growing, pruning and so on, growers can come across challenges and may have questions. We help them to overcome these challenges and answer their questions," says Brian. In the meantime, JPP does the marketing of the product and manages the introduction.

During the presentation, they gave some examples of new Japanese varieties that are introduced in North America and some examples of North American plants that are introduced in Japan.

For more information
Plants Patent Corporation (JPP Japan)
Kentaro Manabe

JPP North America
Brian Upchurch