Moving closer to synergy in the seed industry

The Canadian seed industry is moving closer to the end of its Seed Synergy project where five seed organizations in Canada will come together to form one entity, Seeds Canada.

Shaun Haney spoke with Jonathan Nyborg, president of the Canadian Seed Growers Association (CSGA), to talk about the benefits of the potential amalgamation and where the industry is at in the process.

The involved organizations are:

  • Canadian Plant Technology Agency;
  • Commercial Seed and Analysts Association of Canada;
  • Canadian Seed Growers Association;
  • Canadian Seed Institute; and,
  • Canadian Seed Trade Association.

All five groups have shared their respective detailed ratification package with their memberships for a vote, and judging by annual meetings for provincial associations, members are in favour of the amalgamation, says Nyborg.

“When we go to talk to government, whether it’s CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) or MPs or senators, we’ll do that with one voice rather than five or six voices, and that shows that we’re united,” says Nyborg of the potential benefit the synergy project could bring about for all organization members.

The main driver of the new Seeds Canada is added efficiency. Whether they’re a seed farm providing seed, or the end customer, or the farmer buying seed — Seeds Canada’s aim is to ensure growers still get the service they need at a price that isn’t exorbitantly high, keeping membership costs low, and making membership voluntary. Currently, in order to receive a crop certificate, membership with the CSGA is mandatory.

The deadline for votes for all organizations is around early September, and CSGA members will vote from mid-July to August 27th, when there will be a special meeting on the subject. Canadian Seed Growers Association members will be able to vote online, by mail-in ballot, or by phone. All organization will have to have a two-thirds majority vote for the amalgamation to go forward.

Members of any of the five organizations will have received an email or hard copy in the mail of a virtual town hall schedule and can find the information on the CSGA website or seedsynergy.net.

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