Six growers were recently ordered to destroy plants because they were caught illegally propagating and selling patented Proven Winners plants. The order followed a series of audits that were chosen both randomly and based on tips from officially licensed growers.
“When we get reports of illegal propagation, we take them very seriously,” says Jennifer Holland, licensing manager of Proven Winners ColorChoice. “We owe it to our breeders and to our legitimate licensed growers to protect them from illegal sales and propagation. It’s unfortunate, but with the high level of demand for these new plants, there are some people that cut corners to a few pennies, The irony is that, in the end, they’ve made a very costly decision.”
Proven Winners ColorChoice plans to expand its audits to locate illegally propagated plants at both the wholesale and retail levels. To spot illegally propagated plants, it uses a mandatory Proven Winners plant tag and warns all buyers that the absence of a tag is an indicator of illegal propagation.