As a business, we must be able to anticipate the changing requirements associated with the cultivation of potatoes, as well as changing conditions. We aim to maintain the genetic diversity (variances in origin) of the potato crop. This natural treasure will therefore also be available for future generations. This diversity is extremely important in terms of global food supply.

New diseases and pests might come into play, the climate is changing and the world population is growing. The demand for sustainable products is also increasing and consumer needs change. The solution to new problems can sometimes be found in the properties of old varieties, in plants in other countries (in agricultural systems or outside them) or in gene banks.

  • We focus on:
  • Collaboration with gene banks
  • Breeders' exemption
  • Complying with the Nagoya Protocol and International Treaty
  • Developing new potato varieties in order to safeguard genetic diversity

Collaboration with gene banks

We attach considerable value to successful collaborations with gene banks. We therefore collaborate with the most important sources of genetic diversity. We have partnerships with institutions including the Wageningen gene bank, for maintenance and evaluation, and also the SASA gene bank in Scotland.

Samenwerkingsproject met CIP in Peru

HZPC started collaborating with the CIP (International Potato Centre) in Peru in 2014. This organisation provides solutions to problems around the world such as hunger, poverty and the disappearance of natural raw materials. The collaboration focuses on ‘Benefit Sharing with custodian farmers’. These local growers work under difficult conditions and often live in abject poverty. Benefit sharing means that the local growers who grow national varieties will enjoy greater benefits for their efforts.

Read more about the collaboration with CIP

Breeders' exemption

Breeders' exemption makes it possible to use genetic material freely for further breeding. Genetic sources and biodiversity form the parental material for plant breeding. It is therefore extremely important for plant breeding purposes to have access to all genetic sources (modern and old).

Plantum is the industry association for companies in the vegetative propagation material sector. Plantum formulated a standpoint to make it possible to use genetic material freely for further breeding or breeders' exemption.

Read the viewpoint here

Complying with the Nagoya Protocol and International Treaty

The Nagoya Protocol, signed by the European Commission, refers to genetic sources and the fair and ethical distribution of benefits which result from the use of these sources. The stipulations of the Nagoya Protocol are binding for the countries which have signed it.

The International Treaty is another protocol variant for complying with the CBD. We contribute towards the initiatives of the Nagoya and International Treaty to structurally support genetic sources. A definitive agreement in this regard is under development.