b'Celebrating 25 Years of CPVOPART 2 - LOOKING AT THE HOT TOPICS. BY: MARCEL BRUINST he Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO), in Angers, France, is tasked to administer the EU system of plant variety protection. Since its creation in 1995, the office has received over 70,000 applicationsof which it granted circa 55,000with over 28,000 titles still currently in force. This is the second article where European Seed sat down with the management of the CPVO. In the first we chatted with President Martin Ekvad, with whom we published the interview in April. We discussed some more controversial topics, currently on the plate of the CPVO, with its Vice-President, Francesco Mattina. EUROPEAN SEED (ES): FRANCESCO, THE CPVO IS INVOLVED IN THE EU INVITE PROJECT. CAN YOU SHARE SOME DETAILS ON THAT PROJECT?FRANCESCO MATTINA (FM):INVITE stands for INnovations in plant VarIety Testing in Europe and, up to a certain extent, is complementary to IMMODUS in the sense that it aims to make plant variety testing more efficient. INVITE is an R&D project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme. Its budget is about 8 million euros to be used in a period of five years starting in 2019.INVITEs first objective is to improve variety examination using innovative tools and methods, such as digital imaging techniques. It intends to maximize synergies between DUS and performance testing through relevant activities based on phe-notyping, genotyping, modelling, and database management. INVITEs second objective is to inform stakeholders aboutFrancesco Mattinathe variety performances of the 10 crops which are being tested in the project (i.e. maize, wheat, rye grass, sunflower, potato, tomato, apple and three application crops: lucerne, soybean,FM:In short, I do not see an immediate threat to the current rapeseed). These variety performances will be tested under dif- way of carrying out Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) ferent production conditions and on biotic and abiotic stresses. tests. I believe that there is a strong demand from farmers to pur-The project is coordinated by the French research organisa- chase high quality seeds tested by a neutral competent authority tion INRA and involves CPVO and 28 other European partners.which can assure that the seeds comply with the current DUS The consortium includes 11 members from CPVOs network ofcriteria, as well as Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU). I do not entrusted examination offices.foresee that the regulator would change this. The private breeding sector also benefits from a strong rep- EU Regulation 2018/848 shall apply from 1 January 2021, resentation with the active participation of Euroseeds and twoand it does not replace or change the existing listing or plant breeding companies NPZ and Bayer Crop Science, and also viavariety protection system. It defines two different plant mate-the stakeholder platform and the Stakeholder Advisory Boardrials which should be promoted in organic agriculture: Organic (SAB) whose roles are to advise on the orientations of the projectHeterogeneous Material (OHM), which are not varieties, and and support the dissemination of the projects results.Organic Bred Varieties (OBV).The Commission has financed a similar project calledUnder this Regulation, OHM can be marketed by a simple INNOVAR with 8 million euros for the same time frame. I amnotification and description provided by the breeder without happy that the EU invests in the improvement of variety testingtesting if it complies with DUS and VCU standards. Seed certifi-and I believe that there will be some tangible and useful resultscation is not mandatory, but the seed must comply with the Plant coming out from this project.Health Regulation. It is not foreseen that such plant material could be protected, and the marketing of such material would ES: THE NEW EU REGULATION 2018/848 (ON ORGANICnot affect current DUS tests. However, an OHM is supposed to PRODUCTION) PROVIDES FOR THE MARKETING OFbe designated by a denomination. This might impact the denom-ORGANIC HETEROGENEOUS MATERIAL AND FORination testing of varieties as long as there is no requirement ORGANIC VARIETIES. DO YOU SEE A THREAT TO THEto fulfil the conditions established under Article 63 of Council CURRENT WAY OF CARRYING OUT DUS TESTS? Regulation 2100/94 on the suitability of denominations. OBVs 36IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'