About Fruit Rights Australia
Fruit Rights Australia Inc. (“FRA”) was established in February 2014 by a number of major variety rights holders in the summerfruit industry to help combat illegal use of proprietary varieties in the Australian fruit industry in general. The current members (in alphabetical order) are: Graham’s Factree Pty Ltd, Montague Fresh (Aust.) Pty Ltd, Mossmont Stone Fruit Importers Pty Ltd, QFM Variety Management Pty Ltd and Sun World International LLC.
After a substantial number of audits, FRA has now audited around 70% of new summerfruit trees sold by legitimate nurseries relative to FRA members since 2010. It is our intention to expand auditing services to other tree and vine industries.
The Vision of FRA is to support the efficient, effective and legitimate, commercial development of the intellectual property rights in the proprietary fruit varieties held by its members.
The Objectives of FRA relate to:
- Education: to help all members of the fruit supply chain (growers, packers, marketers and retailers) understand the benefits and obligations of producing fruit of proprietary cultivars;
- Certification: through inexpensive desktop audits and related certification to assist all members of the supply chain to validate the legitimacy of the trees and fruit produced. In doing so, to help retailers avoid the risk of dealing in “stolen goods”;
- Rights: where necessary, to effectively enforce the IP rights held by members through various types of audits; and
- Inclusion: FRA wishes to include other rights holders in its operations.
What characterises FRA’s operations?
- FRA would rather “legitimatise trees” than see them removed. FRA wants to work cooperatively with fruit growers in good faith and is not particularly interested in unnecessary expensive legal proceedings as such actions often do not ultimately benefit any party involved.
- FRA strives to preserve confidentiality related to varieties and tree numbers. During the desk audit process, data related to one Member’s varieties is not provided to other Members.
- published a fact sheet on the general obligations of growers agreements and non propagation agreements for proprietary varieties;
- invested in the establishment of a DNA database for the species Prunus to allow accurate identification of varieties;
- developed a ‘standardised’ form of testing agreement to allow all of FRA’s Members to elect to use the ‘standardised’ form of test agreement that would provide a more uniform set of test agreement provisions and requirements related to supply of test trees to growers by the FRA members.
Outcomes. If FRA is successful, what will happen?
- Australian growers will continue to have access to the world’s best varieties and they will remain available to the Australian industry.
- Illegal propagation will be reduced. This means that all growers compete on a level playing field – not some growers “free riding” on the backs of those who do pay their royalties.
- Retailers do not need to be concerned about “buying stolen property” and sales continue through supermarkets.
Fruit Rights Australia Inc.
PO Box 160
Gembrook VIC 3783
T: 0400 117 360
Fruit Rights Australia is an incorporated Association. Incorporation No: A0060632T