One In 10 Canadian Growers Propagating Illegally

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.

Leave a Reply

10 comments on “One In 10 Canadian Growers Propagating Illegally

  1. its a great thing to monitor growers who prop u.r.c
    not only it keeps it fair to those of us that follow the rules, its a no brainer as a grower that
    holding over stock plants for reproduction not only
    calibrachoa but petunias and all vegatative material for that matter runs the risk of viral, bacterial and other disease issues that can be a major factor in the plant performing for the consumer. if enough illegally propagated material
    with virus/disease issues make it to the retail outlet and the consumer has no success with the product such as calibrachoas the cultivars/brands/series are going to lose sales momentum. its not worth illegally propping, we start with clean/disinfected greenhouses every season cycle and bring all u.r.c in from the brokers/breeders to play a fair game. we want our customers to have success with what they purchase, we like to see genera gain not lose momentum!!

  2. It’s certainly not just Canadian growers !!!!
    There’s plenty that goes on in the U>S> too and it is NOT just the little mom-and-pops. I’ve seen plenty at Big Box growers too ( but they’ll never get smacked-down ).

  3. Yes, it’s not just Canadian growers. From work Plant Watch has done in the US, the problem is just as prevalent. So far, no monitoring agency is visiting growers within a specific time frame based on ship dates and formats like we do in Canada. It makes a huge difference.

  4. This is to be expected, with the overhype of Branding and Marketing, not to mention having to compete with outsourcing of employees and growing fields, our Greenhouses and Nurseries are facing an unfair advantage.
    Big Box Stores and other Chain stores have come to set the availability of plant material. By flooding the market, the public then expects everyone to have this on their benches.
    Landscapers compound the problem by only buying the marketed Branded material, putting further pressure on the Growers to stock the plants that the Landscapers use, instead of growing alternative’s that would be equal or even better suited.

  5. My husband and I have a small nursery. In order to make a profit I propagate or start from seed as much as I can. We were told by growers in our area not to worry about the Plant Pantents because no one ever bothers the little guy. We however decided early on not to propagate illegally. We believe the old adage ‘action speak louder than words’. If you are dishonest about one thing what else are you dishonest about? This has hurt our sells because royalties and plug price on most patent plants ore to high for the little guy to make a profit so we just don’t purchase.
    We would never report any one but it would be nice if there were more control. This perhaps would perhaps even things out a little.

  6. its a great thing to monitor growers who prop u.r.c
    not only it keeps it fair to those of us that follow the rules, its a no brainer as a grower that
    holding over stock plants for reproduction not only
    calibrachoa but petunias and all vegatative material for that matter runs the risk of viral, bacterial and other disease issues that can be a major factor in the plant performing for the consumer. if enough illegally propagated material
    with virus/disease issues make it to the retail outlet and the consumer has no success with the product such as calibrachoas the cultivars/brands/series are going to lose sales momentum. its not worth illegally propping, we start with clean/disinfected greenhouses every season cycle and bring all u.r.c in from the brokers/breeders to play a fair game. we want our customers to have success with what they purchase, we like to see genera gain not lose momentum!!

  7. It’s certainly not just Canadian growers !!!!
    There’s plenty that goes on in the U>S> too and it is NOT just the little mom-and-pops. I’ve seen plenty at Big Box growers too ( but they’ll never get smacked-down ).

  8. Yes, it’s not just Canadian growers. From work Plant Watch has done in the US, the problem is just as prevalent. So far, no monitoring agency is visiting growers within a specific time frame based on ship dates and formats like we do in Canada. It makes a huge difference.

  9. This is to be expected, with the overhype of Branding and Marketing, not to mention having to compete with outsourcing of employees and growing fields, our Greenhouses and Nurseries are facing an unfair advantage.
    Big Box Stores and other Chain stores have come to set the availability of plant material. By flooding the market, the public then expects everyone to have this on their benches.
    Landscapers compound the problem by only buying the marketed Branded material, putting further pressure on the Growers to stock the plants that the Landscapers use, instead of growing alternative’s that would be equal or even better suited.

  10. My husband and I have a small nursery. In order to make a profit I propagate or start from seed as much as I can. We were told by growers in our area not to worry about the Plant Pantents because no one ever bothers the little guy. We however decided early on not to propagate illegally. We believe the old adage ‘action speak louder than words’. If you are dishonest about one thing what else are you dishonest about? This has hurt our sells because royalties and plug price on most patent plants ore to high for the little guy to make a profit so we just don’t purchase.
    We would never report any one but it would be nice if there were more control. This perhaps would perhaps even things out a little.

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