b'THOR GUNNAR KOFOEDCHAIRMAN OF THE EUROPEAN FARMERS & AGRI-COOPERATIVES ORGANIZATION COPA AND COGECA WORKING PARTY ON SEEDS In this position Thor has argued repeat-edly that genetic crop improvements in EU agriculture can provide huge environmental benefits at the same time as protecting crops against pests and diseases and delivering substantial benefits to the economy. Europes restrictive policy on plant breeding innovation is detrimental in Europes efforts to combat hunger and malnutrition. In addition to his position at COPA and COGECA, for the past 25 years, Thor has been the chairman of the Danish Seed Council and is currently the Vice President of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council. On top of that, he is also chairman of the Food & Agriculture Seed Section, TystofteFonden, the European Seed Growers Group and member of differ-ent national and international boards and working parties.MARCO VAN LEEUWEN MANAGING DIRECTOR AT RIJK ZWAANPETRA JORASCHCASPER VAN KEMPEN Marco has been the MD at Rijk Zwaan MANAGER PLANT BREEDING &MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE since 2009. Under the leadership of Marco INNOVATION ADVOCACY AT THEANTI-INFRINGEMENT BUREAU and his fellow board members Kees EUROPEAN SEED ASSOCIATION (ESA) Through the work for the AIB, Casper hasReinink and Ben Tax, the company has Petra joined ESA in February 2017 as thebeen raising awareness of intellectualundergone a steady growth. He explains spokesperson of the EU plant breedingproperty (IP) and illegal seeds throughthe success of his company comes from its sector on modern plant breeding methodsan expert network providing training andpeople-minded company culture, in which and innovative technologies, and she isenforcement services to help membersemployee participation creates an even also in charge of the ESA Working Groupaddress suspected illegalities. The firstgreater commitment. Each year, the com-Plant Breeding Innovation. The regula- plant raisers which engaged in illegalpany invests approximately 30 per cent of tion on the plants developed using newvegetative reproduction of high valueits financial turnover in R&D, and applies a breeding methods dominated much of thevegetables were brought to justice andstrategy for growth, which is realized auton-seed related news channels in the pastcondemned to prison terms. His actionsomously, without acquisitions. He is very few years, and Petra, with her dedicationabsolutely have had a deterrent effect onpassionate that, with his company and its and positive attitude, has continued toany would be infringers. In certain coun- partners, he wants to provide a strong con-inspire the sector to create awareness andtries, AIB focussed on creating IP aware- tribution towards global food security with communicate the benefits of plant breedingness, and to help companies in takinghealthy vegetables. Besides his position at innovation. She has been at the basis of thesteps fighting infringements. Casper raisedRijk Zwaan, Marco is also chairman of the Embracing Nature communication cam- awareness on the weakness of IP laws andAnti-Infringement Bureau, which main aim it paign, with daily outreach on social mediathe lack of an enforceable framework of IPis to prevent and fight infringements of the channels. Petra has been tirelessly arguinglaws and regulations. He has urged compa- intellectual property rights of the vegetable in favour of the use of the latest breedingnies to take proactive measures to preventseed sector. Moreover, he is currently a methods, to ensure food quality, to reducerampant trade secret misappropriation bymember of the Board of Directors of ISF crop losses in the field and food waste, anda supply chain security.as well as board member in the section of to address tomorrows food challenges. vegetables and ornamentals.EUROPEAN-SEED.COMIEUROPEAN SEED I 13'