Press release

Farmers and Consumers Benefit from Intellectual Property

European farmers need science and technology to stay competitive.

Brussels, 8 December 2015 – “European farmers need science and technology to stay competitive,” said MEP Paul Rübig, host of EuropaBio’s event on the benefits from patent protection on plant-related inventions, which took place today in the framework of the 7th European Innovation Summit. “To bring innovative agricultural products to the market, public institutions and private companies, including SMEs, need intellectual property protection,” added Rübig.

Modern plant breeding allows us to develop more productive, efficient and environmentally friendly plant varieties, which benefit farmers, consumers and the environment. Thebenefits areclearly demonstrated by arecent study on Ogura, a ground breaking technology developed by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) that allows the production of higher-yielding varieties of oilseed rape.The study found that in France alone, Ogura had been adopted by 83% of farmers and generated an estimated EUR 1.0 billion, 75% of which went to farmers and consumers.

“This study clearly shows that farmers and consumers are benefiting most from intellectual property,”said Beat Späth, director for agricultural biotechnology at EuropaBio. “Moreover, it is essential to the innovation circle in which innovators invest decades and millions of euros on research and development and require a return on that investment,” added Späth.