Open for feedback from 7 July – 8 September 2023.
Plant reproductive material (PRM) are plants and all parts of plants capable of, and intended for, producing entire plants for any purpose such as food, industrial uses, forestry or decoration (ornament). It may include seeds, young plants, tubers or plant cuttings. PRM constitutes the very beginning of the agri-food production chain to ensure the availability of diverse, healthy and high-quality food. The EU legislation on PRM is based on two pillars: certification of PRM to be marketed and registration of the varieties of that PRM. A plant variety represents a group of plants with a common set of characteristics (e.g. a plant species can include from a few to hundreds of different plant varieties). In order to be placed on the EU market, new plant varieties have to be tested to show that they are distinct from other varieties, uniform and stable. Moreover, the PRM legislation ensures the identity, quality and health of the marketed PRM for the user. The breeding of new plant varieties contributes to the diversity of PRM that will in turn contribute to the diversity of food available on the market. For example, breeding can result in plant varieties producing strawberries in early spring, or in late summer. Likewise, plant varieties can respond to consumer preferences e.g. big versus small strawberries. More importantly, new plant varieties and plant breeding play an indispensable role in creating plants capable to face the current challenges such as extreme weather events (e.g. withstand heavy winds due to a deeper rooting system), extended drought periods and new plant pests. Furthermore, plant varieties may contribute to a more sustainable farming system by decreasing the use of plant protection products.
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Source: EU Commission