February 2016

Seed Synergy Update

Dear CSGA Member,

Over the past few months, CSGA has been engaged in discussions with our Canadian seed industry partner organizations to explore ways to work together to be more effective in advocating for a strong, vibrant Canadian seed sector and providing opportunities for members to continue to thrive.

On February 4th, 2016,  the President, First Vice-President and Executive Director of the CSGA participated in a facilitated meeting with their counterparts from the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) , the Canadian Seed Institute (CSI), the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada (CSAAC), the Canadian Plant Technology Agency (CPTA) and CropLife Canada.

The goal of the meeting was to build on discussions initiated in April 2015, with the objective of achieving greater synergy in the Canadian Seed Sector by:

  • Confirming guiding principles that will underlie a process going forward;
  • Clarifying the mid to long term “issues agendas” for each of the participating organizations, and identifying opportunities for greater collaboration and/or reducing duplication going forward;
  • Identifying specific opportunities now and in the short term to achieve greater synergy (coordinating activities, coordinating industry meeting participation etc.) and;
  • Determining the path forward in this process – what work is required, what are the next steps, where will leadership come from, what are the resource implications and can we establish timelines?

The meeting outcome confirmed that there is a shared vision among the leadership of the organizations involved in the discussions. This vision includes: 1) a strong, competitive and profitable sector; 2) a sector that attracts research and investment in innovation; and 3) a sector that is valued for its significant contribution to society.  Another important point of agreement was the need to work together on the “Development of the Next Generation Canadian Seed Regulatory System”. In doing so, it was recognized that the scope of the effort needed to be broad and include:

  • A close look at the respective roles of government and industry (public/private partnership) in the seed regulatory system.
  • The examination of a range of specific areas of regulation, including variety registration, seed certification, intellectual property protection, value capture mechanisms and more.
  • The development and implementation of a specific project plan (steps, timelines, resource needs) to advance the process.
  • Ongoing consultation among industry and government.

In an effort to begin to define more clearly what Seed Synergy is and will become, the meeting participants confirmed, on behalf of their respective organizations, their commitment to the aforementioned vision as well as their willingness to work together based on an established set of principles and a recognition that there are fundamental issues that will clearly benefit from collaborative efforts among the organizations.

Where are we now?  What’s next?

On February 18th, 2016, the CSGA Board of Directors discussed the Seed Synergy project via conference call and confirmed support for moving ahead to a detailed planning phase.  This work has begun, with a goal of having a Seed Synergy project plan completed by May 2nd, 2016. At this point the Project Plan will be presented to our Board of Directors for ratification and if approved, the CSGA’s share of plan implementation costs will be incorporated into the 2016-17 budget proposal for consideration and approval at the July 2016 AGM.

It is recognized that the CSGA’s 7 branches and more than 3,500 active members will need to be kept aware of and where necessary engaged on the key issues throughout the Seed Synergy project plan development and implementation. With this challenge in mind, work is underway to strengthen the CSGA’s ability to make the kind of timely policy decisions that the Seed Synergy project will require. Key among them is the planned launch of consultations on a comprehensive CSGA strategic plan at the July 2016 AGM.

These are exciting times for the CSGA and for the Seed Industry as a whole. We look forward to your participation in the discussions around the key decisions that we will need to make as an organization and a sector in the months to come. Should you have any questions pertaining to the Seed Synergy project do not hesitate to contact: Glyn Chancey, Executive Director of the CSGA; Norm Lyster, President of the CSGA; or Kevin Runnalls, First Vice-President of the CSGA.

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Canadian Seed Growers’ Association Announces Hiring of Mike Scheffel

The Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA) is pleased to announce the hiring of Mike Scheffel as its new Director of Policy starting May 16st 2016. Michael brings over 30 years’ work experience in various capacities with the Federal government as well as wide recognition as one of the foremost experts on seed production and regulation in the world. Most notably, Mike has chaired the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Seed Schemes. He has worked extensively in other capacities with OECD and the Association of Official Seed Certification Agencies (AOSCA).

“Mike’s in-depth understanding of the seed regulatory landscape, domestically and internationally, is invaluable and will complement our already strong operations and member services team. His knowledge, judgement, policy acumen and extensive network of contacts, will be a great asset to CSGA and by extension the entire seed sector, as the Association continues its modernization and capacity-building efforts,” says Glyn Chancey, CSGA’s Executive Director.

Scheffel, who is retiring from the CFIA, has held many positions at the Agency; most recently Seed Program National Manager, with overall leadership responsibilities for a complex and multifaceted regulatory management agenda. In this capacity and previously, he worked closely with the CSGA and has an intimate knowledge of the critical role that the organization plays in the seed regulatory system.

Mike’s familiarity with other important seed sector players, including the Canadian Seed Institute (CSI), the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA), the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada (CSAAC), Crop Life Canada and the Canadian Plant Technology Agency (CPTA) will be particularly helpful as CSGA engages with them under the Seed Synergy Banner to strengthen the seed sectors voice and role in the development of a Next Generation Seed Regulatory System.

“We are very pleased to have Mike join the CSGA team. He brings a credibility and expertise that is recognized in both government and industry,” says CSGA President Norm Lyster. “This hiring supports CSGA’s commitment to building expertise in seed regulation. It also supports the continued growth of our industry by ensuring that our growers and others, including the CFIA, continue to benefit from Mike’s insight and advice.”

“These are exciting times to be engaged in the Canadian seed industry. CFIA and CSGA’s unique and long-lasting public-private partnership has brought untold value to Canadian agriculture over the past century and continues to provide value today. Strengthening that relationship and CSGA’s relations with other seed sector stakeholders is more important than ever and I look forward to the opportunity to be an advocate for positive change for the sector – something I have always tried to do, but soon, from a different perspective,” says Scheffel.

Scheffel’s hiring is welcome news for other national seed industry associations:

  • “CPTA members are pleased that Mike Scheffel chose to continue his significant contribution to Canada’s seed industry by joining CSGA. We appreciate Mike’s direct approach and look forward to collaborating in future projects.”
    Lorne Hadley, Executive Director, Canadian Plant Technology Agency (CPTA)
  • “The CSAAC board and members send our best wishes for the new position Mike Scheffel has taken on. Michael has always been a supporter of the CSAAC association. CSAAC appreciates his knowledge, intelligence and professionalism in everything he did for the industry and we look forward to working with him on the CSGA team.”
    Betty Girard, Executive Director, Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada (CSAAC)
  • “CSTA congratulates Mike Scheffel on his retirement from CFIA where he has been a valuable contributor to the advancement of the seed sector. CSTA looks forward to continuing work with him in his new role at CSGA, congratulations to both Mike and CSGA.”
    Scott Horner, President, CSTA
  • “CSI looks forward to working with Mike Scheffel in his new role at CSGA, congratulations to both Mike and CSGA.”
    Roy van Wyk, Executive Director, CSI

 

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Contact Us

CSGA staff is here to help and guide you. Don’t hesitate to contact us. Remember the CSGA national office operates in the Eastern Standard Time (EST) zone.

Telephone: (613) 236-0497, Fax: (613) 563-7855, Email: communications@seedgrowers.ca
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 8455, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 3T1
Courier Address: 240 Catherine Street, Suite 202, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2G8
Visit http://seedgrowers.ca/contact-us/ for complete contact information for our staff members.

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