Plants for the Future – an initiative for anyone interested in plant breeding

The RHS Plants for the Future initiative was started in 2014, in order to bring together amateur and professional plant breeders, growers, National Collection Holders and plant licensing companies and discuss the issues around introducing new plants to new market.

A first workshop was organised in November 2014 by Collection Holders and RHS Committee members Sarah Cook and Jim Marshall. A good account of the day can be found on the blog of Michael Perry (Product Development manager for T&M): http://planthunteruk.com/2014/11/08/plants-for-the-future-workshop-with-the-rhs/
There were animated discussions around Plant Variety rights, royalties and trademarks, but the role of National Collections as a source of useful genetic material for breeding was also highlighted by several speakers.
Notes from the RHS are available here: https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/pdfs/Plants-for-the-Future/reportplantsforthefuture6nov2014

The second workshop took place this November at RHS Wisley, and was attended by a number of Collection Holders. Topics included the impact of legislation on plant breeding (Nagoya Protocol, Plant Health), the reintroduction of old cultivars on the market, and the role of amateur gardeners in discovering new plants. A full report will be available from the RHS soon.

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Following requests which were made at the 2014 workshop, the RHS have produced a Guide to Bringing new plants to the market, which gives an overview of the different routes that can be used to introduce new plants in the trade. Follow this link to download it:
https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/pdfs/Plants-for-the-Future/plants-for-the-future-guide-for-breeders

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