Conservation varieties, 2009/145/EU, Dnr 22-9337/10
I am sorry that most of the links below link to further information in Swedish. I did not find much written in English.
The implementation of the new directive on conservation varieties from EU (2009/145/EU) creates a valuable framework for the marketing of older crop varieties in the European union. Increased use of genetic diversity is the aim of these new regulations. However the implementation of this directive has caused a major out-cry of public discontent in Sweden. It seems like the new rules are considered a step backwards and the implementation of new and stricter limitations to the use of genetic diversity in Sweden.
The Nordic Genetic Resources Center (NordGen) and the Swedish Biodiversity Centre (CBM) seem to give a very careful positive feedback to the new directive:
It seems to me that SESAM (www.foreningensesam.se) is also very carefully positive to the proposed Swedish implementation of the new EU directive (SESAM chair person Eva Lemtke, interviewed in Odlaren nr 2 2010, http://www.fobo.se/artiklar/opinion/odlaren_froregler_2-2010.pdf). SESAM:
However the major issue is the announced fees for the registration of conservation varieties in Sweden. The Agricultural Department (SJV) in Sweden has proposed a fee of 3000 SEK (approx 300 Euro) for the registration of a new conservation variety and an annual fee of 2000 SEK (approx 200 Euro). The registration fee needs to be renewed every 10 year, but once the conservation variety is registered any small-scale seed company can sell these seeds (in small packages). But each seed company needs to pay the 2000 SEK for each variety they wish to sell – every year. The small-scale seed companies cry out that this will lead to far larger registration fees than the income from selling the seeds.
Proposed implementation of the new EU directive from SJV:
Dagens Nyheter about the public outcry against this directive:
Swedish National TV about the public discontent with the new directive:
The editorial from another large national Swedish newspaper, Expressen:
The current Swedish regulations from SJV require a registration of such conservation varieties, but the registration is free of charge, and combined with much less paperwork than what the new directive from EU describes.
Last Friday, Tobias Olsson at the Swedish Department for Agriculture (SJV) responded to the feedback in the national Swedish radio. He indicated that the model of fees is far from decided yet – and that SJV is considering a model where the registration fee will be covered by SJV. The costs for the small-scale seed companies could thus possibly remain zero SEK, as today.
It is also worth to note that the implementation of the same EU directive in the UK has be proposed implemented with a one time registration fee of 175 Pounds for conservation varieties, with no re-registration after 10 years, and no annual fee for each seed company.
See also a new online forum started in Sweden to discuss the new regulation on conservation varieties: http://www.bytafroer.se/
And the new FaceBook group on the same topic:
(This is a reply to: http://agro.biodiver.se/2010/11/nibbles-sweden-nagoya-100-questions/)