The Competition Commission has asked the Competition Tribunal to prosecute Netherlands-based seed potato breeder HZPC Holland and its exclusive South African distributor Wesgro Potatoes for the alleged abuse of dominance in supplying Mondial seed potatoes varietal in the country.
Wesgro has an exclusive agreement with HZPC to sell the Mondial seed potato varietal to commercial farmers. In turn, commercial farmers grow the potatoes for sale to consumers as table potatoes.
When a new variety of potato is created, a breeder is afforded exclusive rights over the variety for 20 years. This is a type of intellectual property right that enables the breeder to recoup research and development costs through the exclusive rights.
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