CSGA commits to digital transformation of seed certification in latest business plan


The Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA) has released their latest strategic plan, the first since the organization’s decision in late 2020 to not join Seeds Canada.

The business plan, developed by six working groups and led by the board of directors, identifies three main priorities for CSGA.

These priorities are:

  • Assuming additional responsibility in delivering a comprehensive seed varietal certification program that reliably assures genetic identity, in partnership with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for the benefit of Canadian agriculture.
  •  Transforming pedigreed seed production, marketing, and sales through transparent, digitally-enabled, enhanced traceability services that reduce administrative burden, provide additional data and add value.
  • With an inclusive and service-oriented approach, ensuring that stakeholders are engaged in a next generation seed certification system that is professional, resilient, and meets the diverse needs of Canada’s agri-food economy.

Doug Miller, CSGA’s executive director, says the plan addresses the key issues the association will focus on for the next few years.

“Seed regulatory modernization provides an opportunity for the seed sector to design and implement a regulator framework that meets the needs of all stakeholders,” Miller says. “The CSGA should be entrusted with a greater role in developing and delivering the seed certificate program. Digital transformation is a powerful tool that can reduce costs and create additional value for Certified seed. Introduction of digital seed crop certificates in 2021 will begin to unlock the potential for data-driven value propositions that could transform the sector.”

Caroline Lafontaine, CSGA’s chief operating officer, points out that although the business plan provides CSGA’s vision for the next generation seed system, a great deal of work remains.

“The business plan describes what we see in the future but not how we will get there. To do that, we need to work with our stakeholders and partners. That includes our members, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Seeds Canada, our branches, producers groups, and others who want to engage,” says Lafontaine.

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