MEP Schreijer-Pierik requested this debate to make it clear to the European Commission that the Agricultural Commission in the European Parliament supports the proposal. The Commission didn't initially seem convinced of this. A plea from Schreijer-Pierik and the support from MEPs Bas Belder (SGP/CU) and Jan Huitema (VVD), however, removed this doubt. "Most of the Agricultural Commission want our small growers and breeders to have time to make back their investments," says Schreijer-Pierik.
The term for growers' rights in Europe is 25 years but can be extended to 30 years for specific crops. This has already happened for trees, grapevines for wine and potatoes. Plantum already submitted a request in 2008 to extend the growers' right protection for bulbs for five extra years. Asparagus and woody crops were later added to this proposal. The European union of seeding good companies ESA and other large breeders of vegetative multiplied crops, CIOPRA were also involved in this. The request for bulbs is actively supported from the Netherlands by the Koninklijke Algemene Vereniging voor Bloembollencultuur (KAVB). The European member states united in the Council of the European growers' rights bureau already concluded that there are sufficient technical arguments for a longer protection term for the crops concerned back in the spring of 2016. The European Commission has, however, been very reserved in enacting this so far, partially because they want to be sure that an extension will be positively experienced by all parties in the chain, from producers to consumer. The European Commission expects to be able to provide clarity before the summer; especially now that they feel supported by the positive signal from the European Parliament.