Mato Grosso Soy Growers Reject Monsanto's Royalty Agreement / by Mark Langevin

Brazilian Soy Farmers Reject Monsanto’s RR Royalty Offer:

Mato Grosso Producers Have Two Options

(Translated by BrazilWorks from the original announcement published by Aprosoja)

APROSOJA (the Brazilian Soy Producers Association) reports that a General Assembly composed of the Mato Grosso Federation of Agricultural Producers (FAMATO), Unions of Rural Producers, and APROSOJA met on January 22, 2013 with significant representation of every region of the state and resolved by unanimity to reject the agreement proposed by Monsanto with respect to the collection of royalties for the Roundup Ready (RR) seed.

The representative organizations of agricultural producers of the state of Mato Grosso have worked tirelessly to protect the rights of rural producers and respect the law.  We all want Monsanto to comply with Brazil’s legal requirements in reference to the case given the various judicial decisions handed down with respect to the RR patent, its expiration in 2010, and its current public domain legal status.

Thanks to these legal victories obtained through the collective action of FAMATO, the Union of Rural Producers, and APROSOJA; Monsanto will offer individual agreements to all rural producers throughout Brazil, not just those of Mato Grosso. Despite this company’s recent suspension of royalty collections for the RR soy seed, our representative organizations recommend that producers DO NOT sign any accord that would authorize Monsanto to continue to collect royalties on RR as practiced at the mills and contested in the courts by our sector.  Moreover, we continue to fight to collect those royalties paid unnecessarily to Monsanto in the past.

Given this scenario, a rural producer in Mato Grosso has two options should the company reinstitute royalty payments.

1. Make a Judicial Deposit of the royalties charged by the company. To do this, growers should contact their municipal rural producer union (or nearest union) to better understand how best to exercise their right to make a judicial deposit in lieu of a direct payment to Monsanto.  It is important to remember that this option only applies to producers in the state of Mato Grosso.

2. The second producer option is to sign the individual agreement that will be proposed by Monsanto to all growers in Brazil as a consequence of the collective action organized by producer representatives in Mato Grosso. However, this option IS NOT recommended by the producer representatives in Mato Grosso.

We recommend that producers prevent the collection of any payments at the mill during the 2012/13 harvest and immediately deliver a copy of the Resolution of Agreement (available at the website of APROSOJA) to all buyer companies.

Henceforth, the discussion of the expiration of the RR seed patent continues without the cited company receiving any royalty payments and producers making a judicial deposit of the charged amounts until the case comes to a final resolution.  We are demanding that Monsanto return the illegal collections, in double, corresponding to those payments made after the expiration of the relevant patents related to the RR seed technology.

APROSOJA, FAMATO, and the Rural Producer Unions of Mato Grosso ratify our commitment to soy producers of the state to continue to work toward the defense of your interests anchored to the principles of the rule of law, transparency, and honesty.

We recognize that our investments in research, especially biotechnology, are fundamental to advancing the competiveness of Brazilian agriculture, especially agricultural production in Mato Grosso.  Our investments lead to increases in productivity, reduce production costs, and guarantee the sustainability of productive system.

Because we recognize and value the important research and technological contributions made by both public and private corporations, we want to clarify that we support payments for intellectual property (royalties).  Moreover, we defend the fair collection of royalties in accord with Brazilian patent legislation.