Press comment on the EU regulation concerning seed varieties
08 May 2013
The Soil Association welcomes the last minute revisions made to the EU regulation on the marketing of plant reproductive material, as a result of the huge public outcry across Europe. This means that micro businesses and amateur growers are exempt from the regulation. However, there is concern that the EU Directorate could rescind the exemptions without going back for a vote and there are still some major barriers to farmer and grower variety choice in the legislation. It is great that microbusinesses will benefit from the exemption, but they do not have the resources of larger businesses to invest in innovative breeding programmes, which are needed for future resilience to climate change.
Ben Raskin, Head of Horticulture speaking on BBC Farming Today on 8 May said,
“We welcome the last minute revisions, made as a result of the public outcry, that exempt the microbusinesses and amateur growers, but there are still concerns, partly because they can rescind this at any time and there are still some major barriers to variety choice in the new legislation. This really is to do with the fact that small companies are great at maintaining current varieties but they don’t have the resources that some of the large businesses have, to develop new varieties”.
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