Pot and bedding plant breeders united in Fleuroselect launch a new campaign against the illegal reproduction of legally protected varieties. Grower controls are executed at random and a tip line has been created to report on suspected illegal reproduction.
Karol Pawlak, Fleuroselect President and owner of Vitroflora: "Many cuttings are of varieties legally protected by Plant Breeders rights and therefore sold with a royalty fee. Without these royalties, breeders are unable to fund the extensive R&D needed to bring new and innovative varieties to the market. Tip cuttings can be pinched from growing plants and re-rooted, thus producing an additional new plant. Unless this is approved by the breeder/producer and a royalty paid, this is illegal.
It is in the interest of all in the production and distribution chain that only plants for which the Royalties have been paid reach the market place. The final consumer has a right to buy plants which are legally produced. Growers respecting intellectual property already welcome the campaign as it creates a fair playing field and information activities to raise awareness towards international distributors and retailers are scheduled."
Random grower visits
Within the framework of this yearly campaign, Royalty Administration International (RAI) visits growers to check if the number of finished plants matches the quantities of the original cuttings delivered. The growers visited are chosen annually at random.
Whistle blower tip line
A whistle blower tip line has been created in order to report suspicions on illegal reproduction. Anyone active in plant production and distribution is welcome to use this tip line.
Suspicions on illegal reproduction can be reported in three ways:
- By calling the dedicated tip line phone on 085/0645251.
- By sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- By completing the dedicated form on the Fleuroselect website.
Following procedure will be applied to any incoming tips:
- All tips are considered highly confidential and are collected by the Fleuroselect Secretariat. The name of the person providing the tip is never revealed.
- The tips are screened and passed to Royalty Administration International (RAI).
- RAI carries out a visit to the reported offender as part of the regular campaign. No mention is made that the visit is related to a tip. RAI is entitled to visit the production location or nursery at any time.
- If upon inspection accompanied by the relevant delivery information, it appears that the reported potential offender has indeed re-produced materially illegally, then they will be charged the Royalty Fees plus a fine.
- The whistle blower will receive notification that a visit has been made. It is not the intention of the activity that the whistle blower is informed of the outcome of the visit. By reporting a potential misdemeanour, the whistle blower is contributing to an industry-regulated market place which benefits all.
Fleuroselect and legal propagation
Fleuroselect represents its members who are breeders and producers of young plant material. These companies sell starting material either as unrooted or rooted cuttings to growers who then produce final plants for selling in garden centres, markets, DIY stores and others.