Editor’s note: Gary Stanford is currently in Geneva, representing Canadian farmers at the Global Grains conference. Follow along by searching the #GaryInGeneva hashtag on Twitter.
Gary Stanford, farmer and president of the Grain Growers of Canada wants farmers to know that Bill C-18, the Agricultural Growth Act, contains important and positive changes to several pieces of Canadian agriculture legislation, and the group is eager to see the bill pass.
Of particular interest is the bill’s proposed amendments to the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (PBR). Confusion abounds over what aligning Canadian legislation with the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties (UPOV’91) means for farmers, and, in this interview, Stanford wants to set the record straight about what UPOV ’91 really means.
“Canada is one of only a handful of countries not covered under UPOV ’91,” says Stanford. “Aligning our regulations will not only level the playing field for our producers, but it is also expected to encourage foreign breeders to release their varieties in Canada. This would give our farmers access to new varieties their competitors are already using.” It also enshrines into law the farmers’ right to save seed, such as they do now.