On 24 October, 2014, the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) granted the University of California with the rights over the late mandarin variety known as Tango, which has been registered as Tang Gold. This has been used by the EU and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture to reject the claims of the NCP and the Protected Plant Variety Club (PPVC), which tried to prevent its registration in both cases, acting in their capacity as respective owners and managers of the competing Nadorcott mandarin.

For its part, Citrogold issued a statement last week declaring that the Registrar for Plant Breeders Rights has to consider whether a variety is novel, distinct, uniform and stable before deciding whether to award a Plant Breeders Right (PBR) to a variety. They argue that “an essentially derived variety should be clearly distinguishable from the parent from which it was developed in order to be awarded a PBR.”

The statement affirms that “the decision of the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO), to award a PBR to Tango under the denomination ‘Tang Gold’ recently reflects that the variety meets their administrative criteria of novelty and the technical criteria of distinctness, uniformity and stability.”

However, it is important to note that the CPVO, or any other Registrar for Plant Breeders Rights, does not make a declaration of whether a variety is essentially derived or not. Therefore the granting of the PBR for Tang Gold by the CPVO, or the potential granting of the PBR by other authorities in the future, does not imply that the Tang Gold is not essentially derived from Nadorcott.

Citrogold therefore advises South African citrus growers not to misinterpret the granting of the Plant Breeders Right by the CPVO to mean that the Tango is not essentially derived from Nadorcott, and to take a cautionary approach and to wait for an outcome of the legal proceedings that will determined if Tango is essentially derived from Nadorcott before making any costly long-term planting decisions.

Please visit www.citrogold.com for more informaton.