Patrick FitzGerald - NativaLand

"We are concerned not only with imported but also unauthorised local EU produced sweet potato using the LSUAC protected varieties"

NavitaLand has issued the following important information regarding the unauthorised production of sweet potatoes protected by EU plant breeders rights that may be coming from some producers inside and outside of the EU.

The unauthorised sale and production to EU countries of plant breeder’s rights protected vegetable, fruit and ornamental varieties in any form without prior licensing is a serious offence in EU law when it occurs. If proven, breaches of EU plant breeder’s rights not only carry a substantial EU Law enforced financial and legal penalty. There is also the matter of compensation for lost revenues incurred by NativaLand as exclusive licensee of the breeders (Louisiana State University AgCenter) and investment in plant production, annual clean stock programme costs and impact on their bona fide licensees who are already in full compliance with EU law.

Patrick FitzGerald from NativaLand:

NativaLand together with Louisiana State University AgCenter are conducting investigations for past and present supply of our varieties in specific instances where we have information the protected varieties are being propagated, produced and sold to EU buyers without license. We are concerned not only with imported but also unauthorised local EU produced sweet potato using the LSUAC protected varieties by name and under false names. For Egyptian producers exporting to EU we have recently signed an agreement with a partner seed root and planting materials licensee based in Egypt to assist sub-licensees with clean stock. Through this action we hope to ensure only supply chains of bona fide licensed production from that country are sold in the EU. To date only a limited amount of producers have been authorised and we are happy to give contact with these suppliers and help buyers verify the bona fides of any sources.

Why grown NativaLand LSUAC varieties? The reasons more and more farmers around the world grow these specific varieties are many. Just like with potato these selected sweet potato varieties have traits such as pathogen resistance, nematode resistance, higher yields of consistent marketable roots and other traits in varieties such as Bellevue, Evangeline, Orleans, Bonita and Murasaki are now proving to be reliable varieties for fresh market sales.

These varieties are also backed by a full virus and pathogen indexing and annual stock replacement programme to international best practice standards performed locally here in Europe. The programme is supported by breeder and agronomy experts at Louisiana State University AgCenter (LSUAC) who ensure a pipeline of new varieties are guaranteed for the future. Our program management adopts, voluntarily, the same, variety testing, application assessment, and pest and disease protocols and standards as are used in the modern international potato industry.

The reason we are highlighting the legal status of our varieties is that we are aware of production being offered that may be misleading unsuspecting buyers.

These supply chains, are in compliance with EU Law for the sale of these specific varieties of sweet potato. We hope this information serves to inform and alert buyers of the status of these specific varieties. The unauthorised sale of these protected sweet potato varieties without breeder’s permission can cause legal jeopardy for unsuspecting buyers and re-sellers in wholesale and retail or at any stage in the commercial supply chain. For the breeders, the loss of such revenues deprives their plant scientist staff of incomes that go towards their investments into future agronomy trials, pest and disease resistance testing, breeding and biological cleaning processes and other finance intensive sweet potato research.

If you wish to check with us the bona fides of the source of these varieties, before you import or purchase in the EU, please feel free to reach out to us and we would be more than happy to help. We are also happy to put you in contact with our existing extensive licensee network to ensure you have reliable sources of these varieties now locally produced all over Europe.

We believe our network of licensed farmers will be in a better position to fulfil your needs long into the future in a professional and sustainable way. Further new variety innovation is progressing through collaboration with LSUAC and NativaLand focusing on specific traits for EU agronomy without compromising the pest and disease resistance necessary to safeguard against emerging pest and disease threats and climate change.

You can see our full listing of current varieties protected by EU plant breeders rights.

For more information:
Patrick FitzGerald
NativaLand Ireland
Tel: +353872603473

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