The Canadian Ornamental Plant Foundation (COPF) launched The Most-Effective Monitoring program in 2007, and for good reason: This year alone, COPF discovered tens of thousands of calibrachoa cuttings were being propagation without permission.
The calibrachoa varieties monitored belong to 34 breeders around the world. Millions of cuttings were monitored from fall 2009 to spring 2010 with hundreds of growers visited. In all, 10 percent of Canadian growers across the country who were visited were fined for illegal propagation.
“The Most Effective Monitoring program allows monitoring of practically every cutting shipped into Canada,” says COPF President Philip Thompson says. “We have an upward trend in discoveries. There were more growers found with illegal cuttings in the spring of 2010 compared to 2009. The goal of this program is to ensure a level playing field. We believe this is how our industry will develop strong and equitable market prices. When you play the right way, it’s a win-win all around.”
COPF works with infringing growers to reconcile the situation in consultation with breeders. Plants covered by the monitoring program include calibrachoa, New Guinea impatiens and petunias, among others. Illegal cuttings were found in Ontario, British Columbia and Québec.
Thompson reminds growers that many annuals are not allowed to be propagated without permission – even sticking tip cuttings. The best way Canadian growers can stay informed on what can and cannot be propagated, he says, is to join COPF in Canada or Plant Watch in the United States.
Learn more about COPF online at www.copf.org.