CIOPORA

This interview details CIOPORA, a global association dedicate to promote plant breeders’ innovation and protection. The interview is with Andrés Velásquez, Director PR and Communications at CIOPORA.

Source: CIOPORA

What is the origin story of CIOPORA?

CIOPORA is an international association established by plant breeders to promote innovation and protect the interests of breeders worldwide. Its creation dates back to the year 1961, in parallel with the foundation of The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), the international organization that governs the framework for the Plant Varieties Rights laws. 

Since then, CIOPORA has been working to promote innovation for the development of new plant varieties through a clear and robust legal framework that allows for the protection of the work of plant breeders. Currently, we have more than 150 members from different parts of the world, from the fruit, ornamental, and cannabis sectors. Additionally, we have intellectual property law firms among our members, that are specialists in the protection of Intellectual Property for plants.

It is important to emphasize that, to maintain the spirit of our association, CIOPORA's statutes stipulate that at least 2/3 of its members must be plant breeders or hold on IP title for a plant variety. This enables us to focus and maintain our interest in plant breeders, for whom we work.

Source: CIOPORA

What are some of the biggest challenges facing CIOPORA in the future? 

Like in various industries, developing new technologies poses a challenge for the plant breeding industry and the protection of new plant varieties. The introduction and use of new breeding methods bring a significant challenge: having a legal framework that continues to protect the work of our plant breeders and generates the necessary incentives to invest in innovation and development.

The development of a new plant variety through traditional methods can take between 10 and 20 years and has an impact on various stakeholders, namely breeders, growers, distributors, consumers, and society at large. The development of new plant varieties allows, for example, fruits to have a longer shelf life, develop new colors or flavors, require fewer pesticides, or provide greater nutritional value to consumers, among other things.

Source: CIOPORA

The advent of new technologies has enabled faster development of new varieties but has also blurred the scope of protection for a variety. This is evident, for example, in Essentially Derived Varieties (EDV), a variety predominantly derived from its initial variety, such as mutation resulting from New Brewwding Techniques (NBT). In such cases, CIOPORA advocates that the development of the newly created EDV should acknowledge the work done by the breeders of the initial variety and seek permission for the commercialization of the EDV, and pay royalties for it.

Another significant challenge is raising awareness among the growers to respect intellectual property rights. We still encounter growers in different parts of the world who propagate protected varieties without authorization. This not only results in a loss for the plant breeder but also creates unfair competition in the market. This is because they are using a variety that, thanks to the work of plant breeders, has developed unique characteristics valued by the consumers. Yet, they are not paying for its use, while other actors comply with the requirements for using that variety.

Source: CIOPORA

What is unique about CIOPORA compared to similar research groups? 

One unique aspect of CIOPORA is its environment. Within our association, each of our members shares a common goal: to protect the fruits of their work. Their passion for innovation in plants and respect for their work goes beyond the competition they may have in the market. They understand that the challenge of creating a legal framework that protects them is a shared challenge, requiring collaboration in the face of diverse authorities around the world.

Another significant comparative advantage of CIOPORA is its experience in this breeding world. Currently, not many associations or organizations are truly international and dedicated to promoting innovation and protecting new plant varieties. We are confident that very few have the expertise, impact and networking that CIOPORA possesses.

Thanks to this track record, we enjoy observer status before UPOV, maintaining a permanent and close relationship with plant variety offices such as the U.S., Canada, China, Japan, Colombia, Ecuador, Kenya, and the European Union, among others highly relevant to plant breeders. In our activities, such as workshops or our annual meeting, come together the most influential companies in the market, the most relevant authorities in plant intellectual property, and various actors working daily to provide a safe space for the development of plant innovation. 

Source: CIOPORA

What are some trends you are seeing at CIOPORA as far as plant breeding in general? 

The impact that new legislation on genome editing techniques may have on the EU is interesting, as, if it takes the right path, it will allow the development of new varieties much more rapidly and place the EU at the same level as other leading countries in this field, such as the USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Japan or Australia.

Climate change is also another challenge for our sector because we, as breeders, have a role and the potential to contribute to addressing this global challenge. How? By developing new varieties that can adapt better to different climates, use fewer resources, and provide better nutrients 

The various enforcement actions taking place worldwide are also relevant, as they set a precedent in the application of a law created exclusively to establish a framework for protecting plant breeders.

For the plant innovation sector, what is happening in markets like China and India is also significant, as they represent significant commercial opportunities but with a very uneven scenario in terms of protection and intellectual property. China has been a member of the UPOV 1991 convention for 24 years and, during this period, has developed a solid legal framework for protecting plant breeders on paper. In the case of India, the situation remains very challenging, as it has its own law, and spaces to exercise intellectual property rights are very scarce. 

Source: CIOPORA

How can people connect with you or learn more about CIOPORA?

We have different communication channels for both our members and non-members. you can visit our website www.ciopora.org, or follow us on our social media platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, and X. We also have a public newsletter to which you can subscribe at the following link: http://eepurl.com/dqDDXX. You will find information about our association, events, workshops, and industry news there.

Undoubtedly, our Annual General Meeting is one of the most relevant spaces to learn about the work and impact of CIOPORA. Next year, we will hold it in Marrakech from April 15 to 19, dedicating a week to discussing innovation and the protection of new plant varieties. The last AGM, held in the USA, brought together over 150 people who, for four days, could learn and understand the challenges posed by the plant innovation industry and the need to continue working on effective protection for breeders.

CIOPORA on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ciopora  

CIOPORA on Twitter: @CIOPORA_IP

CIOPORA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CIOPORA 

Source: CIOPORA

CIOPORA: Uniting Breeders, Protecting Innovation. www.ciopora.org

CIOPORA is the International Association of Breeders of Asexually Reproduced Horticultural Varieties. Breeders of such varieties account for two-thirds of all Plant Variety Rights (PVR) titles in the world. For over 60 years, CIOPORA has represented these breeders in all matters of Intellectual Property (IP) protection and aims to foster an environment in which the innovation of these breeders can flourish. CIOPORA is a member-based, non-profit organization. www.ciopora.org

The CIOPORA Academy is a specialized international education program on IP for plants tailored to the needs of the green sector. The formats include small-group workshops and live webinars. Our learner community consists of plant breeders and other participants of the horticultural value chain, as well as IP lawyers and patent attorneys. With its unique workshop and webinar programs frequented by over 500 professionals from over 25 countries, the CIOPORA Academy aspires to be a global reference program on IP for the green business. 

www.ciopora-academy.org 

Press contact:

Mr. Andrés Velásquez

Director PR and Communications

andres.velasquez@ciopora.org 

Tel: +49 40 555 63 702

Asia Vertical Farming Companies: The 2023 Report

Download the Free Sample Report

Mark-Horler

"For a target audience that is trying to understand the basics of vertical farming, this is a quality newsletter to subscribe to"

- James Pateras, CEO, Modular Farms Australia

North America Vertical Farming Companies: The 2023 Report

Download The Free Sample Report

Mark-Horler

"The North America Vertical Farming Companies Report 2023 aggregates many sources of public information on many different companies so that you don't have to do the research yourself, it's worth the money and saves a lot of time"

- John Ireland, CEO, NTP Technologies

Europe Vertical Farming Companies: The 2023 Report

Download the Free Sample Report

Helen Andrew Spare Harvest

"As a business development manager supporting the indoor agriculture, CEA, and food tech industries, I can say Urban Vine guides and their insider newsletter provide detailed information often difficult to find online."

- Irena Lundberg, CleanTech Invest Stockholm

Middle East Vertical Farming Companies: The 2023 Report

Download the Free Sample Report

Mark-Horler

"As a marketing professional in the indoor agriculture industry, Urban Vine's newsletters, reports and guides are an excellent resource for keeping up-to-date with news and developments in vertical farming."

- Steven Mitchell, Product Manager, Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) UK

All Indoor Farming Company Interviews

CHAP Solutions

May 16, 2024

This interview details CHAP, a company based in the UK. The interview is with Fraser Black, CEO of CHAP. To learn more about CHAP and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

Maia Farms

May 9, 2024

This interview details Maia Farms, an indoor farming company based in Canada. The interview is with Gavin Schneider, CEO & Co-Founder of Maia Farms. To learn more about Maia Farms and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

CIOPORA

May 22, 2024

This interview details CIOPORA, a global association dedicate to promote plant breeders’ innovation and protection. The interview is with Andrés Velásquez, Director PR and Communications at CIOPORA. To learn more about CIOPORA and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

Purdue University

May 6, 2024

The interview is with Cary Mitchell, Professor Horticulture at Purdue University. To learn more about Purdue University and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

VoltServer

May 6, 2024

This interview details VoltServer, a company based in the United States. The interview is with James Eaves, Ph.D., Indoor Agriculture Director at VoltServer. To learn more about VoltServer and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

Pathotrak

May 6, 2024

This interview details Pathotrak, a company based in the United States. The interview is with Javier Atencia, PhD, CEO & Founder of Pathotrak. To learn more about Pathotrak and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

Windy Hill Farm

May 6, 2024

This interview details Windy Hill Farm, a company based in the United States. The interview is with Steve Savitz, a Teacher at Methacton School District. To learn more about Windy Hill Farm and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

Hydra Unlimited

May 6, 2024

This interview details Hydra Unlimited, a company based in the United States. The interview is with H. W. (Hank) Bonnah, Chief Scientist / Principal Engineer at Hydra Unlimited. To learn more about Hydra Unlimited and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

Teens for Food Justice

May 9, 2024

This interview details Teens for Food Justice, a company based in the United States. The interview is with Katherine Soll, Founder & CEO of Teens for Food Justice. To learn more about Teens for Food Justice and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview

Novus Earth Energy

May 3, 2024

This interview details Novus Earth, an indoor farming technology company based in Canada. The interview is with Jeff Messner, President & Co-Founder of Novus Earth. To learn more about Novus Earth and other indoor farming companies, click on this link!

View Full Interview