VOLUME 5 ISSUE 4 – EU AND AFRICA – A GOOD NEIGHBOUR IS BETTER THAN A FAR FRIEND

The EU is Africa’s biggest trading partner, accounting for 36% of Africa’s trade in goods, worth €243.5 billion in 2017, compared to China with €107 billion (16%) and the US with €44.2 billion (6%). With that, the EU remains the most open market to African exports in the world, and many seed companies see Africa as the next continent where massive growth will take place. As a continent, the EU is investing in and providing the African continent with large amounts of support. In terms of Foreign Direct Investment in Africa, the EU invests more than other countries/regions, with €291 billion (40%), followed by the US with €51.52 billion (7%) and China with €36.16 billion (5%). With just the Mediterranean Sea in between, the EU is Africa's closest neighbour and also its biggest investor, the main trading and development partner and a key security provider. If we look at support, between 2014-2020, the EU is providing €31 billion in Official Development Assistance to Africa to boost Africa's economy aiming to give young people in the continent a chance to build a future, to ensure food security and access to energy, and to anchor good governance and respect of human rights.

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VOLUME 5 ISSUE 3 – R.I.P EU PLANT BREEDING INNOVATION – A GREAT LOSS FOR EUROPE

On the 25thof July 2018, the European Court of Justice delivered a massive blow to European plant breeding, to European agriculture and with that to European consumers. On that day, the ECJ decided to entirely ignore the opinion of EU’s Advocate General Bobek on the matter and ruled that crops obtained by mutagenesis are GMO’s and are in principle, subject to the legislations laid down by the GMO Directive. This ruling means that much of the potential of plant breeding innovation will be lost for Europe. Public research into these applications will largely come to an end as crucial industry co-funding will dry out and public-private partnerships lack the necessary economic basis. This will have dramatic consequences for product development in Europe. Several of the major breeding companies have announced they will no longer pursue advanced genetic plant breeding anymore in Europe. Europe will (again) start to lag further behind the rest of the world. Have you ever wondered which are the various European institutions that are involved in decision-making at EU level and how they interact? European Seed takes a closer look at the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, and the European Commission. At the same time, it puts the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its proposals for 2020 under the magnifying glass and wonders if there is still common ground.

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VOLUME 5 ISSUE 2 – PROTECTING YOUR ASSETS – INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND BEYOND

Plant breeders on average spend between 12 to 15% of their turnover back into research and development, which is higher than most other industry sectors. And give or take a few years, plant breeders need between 8 and 12 years to create a new plant variety, without knowing what consumers will desire in 8-12 years from now. It's easy to imagine that a plant breeders' research and investments are considerable, upfront and also high risk. Several research papers have shown that plant breeding is providing enormous benefits into the agricultural chain, and in society. So, it is only fair for the plant breeding sector to ask for something in return, to keep this engine of innovation going, and this return on investment is often guaranteed by intellectual property rights, such as plant breeders' rights and patents. Recent innovations have made it easier for plant breeders to file for plant breeders' rights, leading to more applications in more countries, to the benefit of society. With the massive changes happening in the seed sector, we have put together a list of 20 movers and shakers who have been highly influential to the European seed sector in 2017, with each one of these incredible people having had a significant effect on the sector in the past year(s). We very much welcome and look forward to your feedback as to who you think should have been on the list or appear on next year's list, and why.

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VOLUME 5 ISSUE 1 – PLANT BREEDING INNOVATION – BRINGING SCIENCE BACK TO THE FOREFRONT

Science and progress in plant breeding are moving so rapidly that we wonder if producers - as well as consumers, and especially regulators - will be able to understand and embrace the changes. Misunderstanding the latest breeding methods will lead to a delay in acceptance and use, and with that, Europe will lose many wonderful opportunities to help humankind bring the much-needed improved varieties to the farmers, and eventually to the consumers. However, looking at the rapid progress, there is very little time to bring decision makers and the general audience up to speed and explain how plant breeding benefits multiple stakeholders and society as a whole. Going forward, it will be crucial to show how plant breeding helps to meet consumer expectations, to find natural solutions to meet the food demand, and how plant breeding supports resource efficient farming by safeguarding yields and reducing losses in the field.

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VOLUME 4 ISSUE 4 – CROP PROTECTION – WHY EUROPE HAS THE SAFEST FOOD IN THE WORLD

Our food and feed crops are under a daily and relentless attack from pests and diseases. Already millennia ago, mankind has learned that with certain compounds the pathogens can be kept at bay. But crop protection products have come under heavy criticism lately. Find out if and why crop protection is necessary and the reasons behind the fact that Europe has the safest food in the world.

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