The European Parliament votes the revision of the Plant Reproductive Material legislation

Einbeck, April 24, 2024

KWS acknowledges the outcome of today’s vote of the European Parliament (EP) on the Plant Reproductive Material (PRM) proposal. From the company’s perspective the text approved by the Members of the European Parliament puts at risk the well proven pillars of the PRM legislation, that ensured the delivery of high-quality input for all farmers, growers and all users, thus opening for certain material to be exempted by the scope of the legislation and in the future.

The plant breeding and seed sector plays a crucial role in delivering high quality varieties to farmers to face an increasing number of challenges linked to climate changes and reduced tools at their disposal. It is fundamental to guarantee the sector the conditions to continue operate on the basis of a level playing field. Practices that undermine these conditions jeopardize the overall goals of the PRM proposal of food security, protection of biodiversity and restoration of forest ecosystems.

By excluding from the scope of the Regulation certain type of material and activities, the European Parliament created the conditions for a market lacking minimum requirements and official controls. While derogations ensured proper balance between the development of the sector and the safeguard and maintenance of conservation PRM, easing the conditions to operate for conservation entities, the exemption from the Regulation would not only facilitate breaching the common rules and increasing frauds, but would remove any transparency or official oversight for the stated aim of improving diversification and diversity of the PRM placed on the market or exchanged. Exempting certain material from minimum quality and seed health requirements, without any traceability or official controls will impact users and undermine the confidence in the sector and the good reputation of EU produced PRM for global markets.

“The text from parliament opens an informal channel for marketing of PRM with no scrutiny whatsoever regarding its identity, quality, health or marketing claims regarding its suitability for specific users. This risks damage to the drive for EU farmers and growers’ towards more sustainable production, the competitiveness of European agriculture and threatens the international recognition of the EU as a region for reliable sourcing of high quality PRM serving global markets. The outcome of the vote does not reflect the contribution of our sector to the agri-food chain and end consumers nor does it reflect the industry's objectives in terms of sustainability and economic viability. We look at the Council now to adopt a position that would contrast those threatening provisions to be taken to the interinstitutional negotiations”, states Nigel Moore, Head of Food Ingredients and Euroseeds Board Member for KWS.

About KWS*

KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. More than 5,000 employees* in over 70 countries generated net sales of around €1.8 billion in fiscal 2022/2023. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for over 165 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, vegetables, oilseed rape and sunflowers. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to continuously improve yield for farmers and plants’ resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested more than €300 million last fiscal year in research and development.

*excl. seasonal workforce

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