CO2 emissions from agriculture must be reduced in the coming years to help achieve the goals of the European Green Deal. Other environmental considerations call for less intensive use of pesticides, fertiliser and other chemicals, while at the same time maintaining and increasing food production to cope with the demands of the European and global markets.
This multifaceted challenge can only be met by creating new varieties of crops that use fewer resources while enhancing productivity of European agriculture. These new varieties must also be able to cope with the changing climate. A great deal of innovation in breeding of plant varieties is therefore required.
Such innovation is underpinned by the Community Plant Variety Rights (CPVR) on the EU level, managed by the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO). A joint publication of the EUIPO and the CPVO , highlights the very significant contributions made by the CPVR system to the economy and to the environment during the past 25 years, thereby supporting the EU’s economic and environmental goals.
In the absence of the CPVR system, in 2020:
- production of arable crops in the EU would be 6.4% lower,
- production of fruit would be 2.6% lower,
- that of vegetables 4.7% lower,
- the output of ornamentals would be 15.1% lower.
Without the added production attributable to CPVR-protected crops, the EU’s trade position with the rest of the world would worsen (for some crops, the EU might even switch from being a net exporter to a net importer), and EU consumers would face higher food prices.
The annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture and horticulture are reduced by 62 million tons per year. This corresponds to the total GHG footprint of Hungary, Ireland or Portugal.
Many of the companies protecting their innovations with CPVRs are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These small companies account for more than 90% of the registrants of CPVRs and hold 60% of all CPVRs currently in force.