The Wizards of Svalöf
Intellectual property rights and consolidation in the plant breeding industry
This paper reviews the most prominent changes that have taken place in the plant breeding industry in Sweden. We argue that the establishment of Intellectual Property Rights schemes creates power asymmetry in the seed value chain and has therefore been a major driver of consolidation in Sweden and internationally. Furthermore, we provide an assessment of the use of cultivars bred domestically. This has been achieved by identifying and classifying the variety owners for major crops based on the origin of the breeding station and calculating the percentage of the domestically-bred varieties used in crop production. The ratio of local varieties in relation to imported varieties is of special significance to Sweden, which has a long history of plant breeding and a challenging climate.