"After ten years as President of the Community Plant Variety Office, my second and last mandate expires on 31 August 2021. It has been a great honour to serve the European Union in this role and a real pleasure to manage the EU plant variety protection system during the past decade.

Plant breeding has never been as important as it is today. It offers tremendous benefits to society in terms of food security, resilience and environmental sustainability. Plant variety rights entail a crucial incentive for breeders to create and innovate and I am happy that the EU plant variety protection system serves this purpose very well.

I believe that the inclusive and transparent approach of the CPVO governance is a major reason for its success. In that respect, I wish to thank the EU Member States, the European Commission, the examination offices, the observers to the Administrative Council (UPOV and EUIPO), and of course the breeders, for the frequent and constructive feedback ensuring that the EU system remains a centre of excellence.

It has been a true privilege to work with so many outstanding colleagues, peers, friends, institutional and business stakeholders. I wish to express my gratitude to all CPVO partners and country representatives in the EU and beyond its borders with whom the CPVO has been fostering formal collaboration, sharing knowledge and promoting an efficient PVP system based on the 1991 UPOV Convention.

I will be leaving the CPVO with a clear conscience knowing that the most valuable asset of the agency, the dedicated groups of professionals I have had the pleasure to work with, will remain after my departure. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my colleagues for their professionalism, commitment and eagerness to deliver at the highest standards possible to the satisfaction of the applicants and all stakeholders.

From a practical standpoint, the recruitment process for the appointment of a new President is underway but the new President will not be appointed in time to start his/her duties on 1 September 2021. Accordingly, Francesco Mattina, in his capacity of Vice-President, will take over all the President’s duties as of Wednesday 1 September 2021 until the appointment of the new President.

Thank you all for your support and excellent cooperation."

Martin EKVAD