Seeds Canada is pushing for real change within the Seed Regulatory Modernization process

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The Canadian agricultural industry and seed needs and demands looks nothing like it did in the early 1900s, when the Seeds Act was first enacted. While the act has gone through some changes since its inception, the federal government launched a full-scale modernization of the seed industry four years ago.

Now through the second consultation intake of the Seed Regulatory Modernization (SRM) process, industry stakeholders are beginning to see what is taking shape and are awaiting the second report from the government.

Seeds Canada has been an active participant since the very beginning of the process and has been pushing for not only what farmers have prioritized as their needs, but also that the process go far enough to set the entire seed industry up for success well into the future.

Barry Senft, chief executive officer of Seeds Canada, says that farmers have highlighted three priorities for the sector:

  • Access to new technology;
  • Reasonable seed costs; and,
  • Competition within the industry

In the discussion below, Senft explains why each of these points are so important for the farmer and how they can be addressed within the SRM process. (more below the player)

 

Lauren Comin, director of policy for Seeds Canada, explains that from an industry perspective it’s also important for this modernization process to go far enough to truly transform how the seed industry evolves in Canada. There is concern that when this process closes in 2025 that the level of modernization won’t be adaptive enough to tackle what is ahead.

Seeds Canada is asking for three key changes to the Seeds Act. They are: incorporation by reference, establishing an independent advisory panel, and a governance structure that reflects a modern sector capable of being able to compete moving forward.

“Innovation is happening quickly,” Comin says, “We need to allow for continuous improvement and to keep pace with innovation so that the seed industry doesn’t get left behind.”

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