Nature’s Crops International achieves plant variety protection for its ahiflower in Europe and US

Sebastian Krawiec

Sebastian Krawiec is Editor at Nutritional Outlook.

Nature’s Crops International has secured registration and protection for three varieties of Ahiflower under both the European and US Plant Variety Protection (PVP) programs.

Nature’s Crops International (Winston-Salem, NC) has secured registration and protection for three varieties of Ahiflower (Buglossoides arvensis) under both the European and US Plant Variety Protection (PVP) programs. That brings the total varieties successfully registered and protected across the UK, EU, and US to five.

“The agricultural innovation demonstrated in securing PVP certification has continued to advance, and what was previously viewed as a common weed is now a high-value specialty oilseed crop grown on thousands of acres by UK farmers,” said Simon Meakin, vice president of agronomy and general manager for UK operations of Natures Crops International, in a press release. “Ahiflower has gained significant attention as a scientifically-validated alternative to fish oil that is sustainably and regeneratively produced. Due to the value this tiny plant offers, we have a responsibility to protect it.”

PVP certification is granted in the US by the PVP Office of the USDA, through the Plant Variety Protection Act. Plant variety protection in Europe is administered by the Community Plant Variety Office. These authorities employ stringent standards in the approval of new varieties of plants, establishing that they are new, novel, distinct, uniform, and stable. Additionally, the certifications grant intellectual property protection and provide the owner with exclusive rights.

“Brexit has placed many challenges on UK agriculture and farmers, and building a successful business around high value, low input crops like Ahiflower expands opportunities for growers and is good for the environment,” said Andrew Hebard, founder, president and CEO of Natures Crops International. “Ahiflower is expected to become an increasingly important oilseed crop in the future, exclusively grown in the UK, using regenerative agricultural practices and exported around the world as the plant kingdom’s healthiest nutritional seed oil. Achieving PVP adds important levels of protection for this emerging yet significant opportunity for UK farmers.”