By Sophie Barnett
Research has won a £250,000 windfall after Scotland’s leading plant science centre lodged legal action against Spanish growers.
The Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) investigated why raspberry variety Glen Lyon, developed by SCRI, was being supplied by Spanish growers to British supermarkets without the growers paying any royalties.
Legal proceedings were instigated in Spain, where intellectual property violations are criminal law, and were resolved after a three-year investigation. An SCRI representative said they had now reached an “amicable agreement”.
The investigation started after it was realised large amounts of Glen Lyon were being sold in British supermarkets that were not licensed or clean plants.
A total of 22 Spanish companies, accounting for 380ha of farmland, have now signed a deal with Mylnefield Research Services (MRS), the commercial subsidiary of SCRI. Income from the agreements is expected to soon top £250,000 and will be ploughed back into research.
Some of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains have also been involved in the deal, ensuring that their winter stocks of raspberries come from properly licensed Spanish growers. MRS managing director Nigel Kerby said: “The growers who have signed agreements with us will be able to buy disease-free stocks of Glen Lyon raspberries.”
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