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Mexico protecting breeder rights better
Mission of breeder rights experts to Mexico
From June 6th to June 8th, a visit of breeder rights experts took place, MM. Marien Valstar, Senior Policy Officer, Seeds and Plant Propagation Material, DG AGRO, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Kees van Ettekoven, Head of Variety Testing Department, Naktuinbouw who are also respectively, Vice-President and Chair and Working Group on Biochemical and Molecular Techniques and DNA-Profiling in Particular (BMT) of UPOV, to review breeder rights in Mexico.
Upgrade to UPOV 91
The visit was organized on request of the Ministry of Agriculture of Mexico in order to get recommendations to migrate from UPOV 78 to 91. This important step for Mexico would offer more certainty to Dutch breeders that wish to invest in Mexico or work with Mexican growers. For the time being, the Mexican legal framework is according to UPOV 78 which already grants some guarantees to breeders on seeds and plants (not cut flowers). It is important to point out that in case of infringements, the Mexican legal system does not contemplate any scheme of an amount for damages, since only administrative fines are applicable.
Working towards an official work plan
The experts had the opportunity to meet with government officials from the National Service of Seed Inspection and Certification, Mexican NPPO authorities as well as public research institutes and universities, representatives of seed, flower, berry producers and farmers association. A field trip was organized to Tenancingo and Villa Guerrero to visit local flower growers associations and companies. The Dutch experts will work with the Mexican authorities in order that the local law meets with UPOV 91 standards. The needed steps to take are being identified and included in an official work plan. A Mexican delegation will visit the Netherlands next August to accelerate the upgrade of their UPOV membership.
Mexico has a huge potential to export cut flowers due to its ideal climate, light conditions and close location to the US market. In 2016, the flower sector produced a value of USD 400 million, of which half is cut flowers, and creates 200,000 jobs. The sector exports only 5% of its production mainly to the US and Canadian market. The value of export was USD 77 million (50% cut flowers, 27% foliage and 22% propagation material). Imports was USD 74 million (2% cut flowers, 31% foliage of which 90% are Christmas trees from US and Canada) and 65% propagation material.
Source: Agroberichten Buitenland
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