EUROPEAN-SEED.COM I EUROPEAN SEED I 21 such as Barenbrug Group BV, Floriade BV, De Groot en Slot Allium Beheer BV and GreenPort NHN. Martin Ekvad, President of the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO). Since 1995, the CPVO has managed the Community Plant Variety Rights (CPVR) system by granting intellectual property rights for protecting new varieties of plants with unitary effect throughout the terri- tory of the EU via a single application to the CPVO. The strength of the system is evident from the continuing increase in applications and titles in force, making it the largest system of its kind globally. Under Martin’s leadership, the organization has shown continued progress in addressing upcoming technical and administrative challenges, whilst maintaining a robust and cost-effective system for CPVR. Through his engagement in UPOV activities, such as Chairing the Legal and Administrative Committee at UPOV for a period of three years, he has kept the CPVO visible also in the international arena. GarlichvonEssen, Secretary General of ESA European Seed Association. Garlich has been active in ESA since 2000, first as Director Public Affairs, and since 2004 as Secretary General. Integrating the infor- mal Eastern European Seed Network in the mid-2000s, ESA today represents the entire European seed sector from Finland to Turkey and Ireland to Ukraine. Next to countless interactions with EU deci- sion makers on key EU seed policies and regulations, under Garlich’s leadership ESA continuously extended industry-led outreach and advocacy on a wide range of issues such as IP transparency (imple- mentation and management of the PINTO database), seed treatment quality control (the ESTA scheme), and, most recently, on breeding innovation communication with the “#EmbracingNature” campaign. He started rotating the location of the ESA Annual Meeting all over Europe, with great success and record attend- ances, and has successfully selected new talent for a growing ESA secretariat. Garlich also is a sought-after speaker on EU public policy and modern association management. GarlichvonEssen ErikFyrwald, Chief Executive Officer at Syngenta AG. In 2017, Syngenta was acquired by ChemChina, and one of the expected impacts of the acquisition is that it will help modernise China’s farm sector. ChemChina is keen to trans- fer Syngenta technology to China to improve farm productivity there while also investing for the long term to help grow Syngenta’s business globally, includ- ing most recently the announced acqui- sition of Nidera seeds, a major player in the Latin American seeds market. With China being a major trade partner for Europe, changes at Syngenta will have lasting consequences for the European and global seed sector. The path Syngenta takes will have a major and lasting impact on the European seed sector. Erik, in his role as CEO of Syngenta, will be making decisions affecting the future of millions of farmers around the world. MartinEkvad ErikFyrwald