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CIOPORA Advocates for Broader Minimum Distances in Fruits

Budapest, June 24-25 – At the 50th UPOV TWF Session, the CIOPORA delegation consisting of CIOPORA Office and the CIOPORA Head Technical Experts on Apples, Strawberry and Grapes, advocated for stronger PBRs in fruit crops based on CIOPORA’s Minimum Distance paper. The meeting focused on the Technical Guidelines for apples, grapevines, strawberries, and cherries, with heated discussions evolving around addition and removal of certain characteristics.

CIOPORA delegates proposed diverse changes to the current guidelines in accordance with the CIOPORA Position Paper on Minimum Distance. They raised concerns about shrinking distances between varieties that entail negative commercial consequences and, thus, the weakening of Plant Breeders’ Rights. According to the CIOPORA Position Paper on Minimum Distance, a sufficient minimum distance between varieties is necessary to guarantee a strong and effective Plant Variety Right. Differences only in unimportant characteristics should not lead to a clearly distinguishable variety.

TWF welcomed the participation of plant breeders facilitated by CIOPORA, whose position on Minimum Distance was clearly communicated by its delegation. While the botanical approach to distinctness in varieties remains a prevalent strategy within UPOV, CIOPORA members offered TWF their insights from the commercial perspective of PBR exploitation. It was an important opportunity for CIOPORA members to provide input directly and become a part of the dialogue.

Main results and action points:

Apple: While some characteristics were deleted upon request by CIOPORA, other characteristics need further revision. CIOPORA agreed to provide assistance on how and when to measure characteristics proposed to be added such as the sweetness of flesh and acidity.

Grapevine: Since many characteristics, which are relevant for table grapes varieties, are not addressed in the current TG on grapevines, it may be time to request separate guidelines: one for wine and rootstock varieties and the other for table grape varieties.

Strawberry: In general, there were new characteristics proposed that would require additional data. Breeders should review the current TG and provide their input.

Sweet Cherry: Current TG should be reviewed in accordance with the CIOPORA’s position on Minimum distance.

A detailed meeting report by CIOPORA will be published and disseminated soon.

List of Participants:

· Micaela Filippo

· Victoria Yael Miara

· Sonia Soto

· Dominique Thevenon

· An Van den Putte

· Jan Wouter Van Eck


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