Consultation on proposed Membership class and By-law changes

June 12, 2024

As part of CSGA’s ongoing efforts to develop an inclusive next-generation seed certification system, the CSGA Board of Directors is launching a consultation and survey to gather your feedback on proposed By-law changes to:

  1. Reintroduce Affiliate and Associate membership classes, creating more opportunities for stakeholder participation in day-to-day CSGA activities, and
  2. Housekeeping By-law amendments, aligning CSGA governance processes with best practices.

This consultation follows discussions during the Branch Annual Meetings this past winter, during which the proposals received strong member support. Both proposals align with CSGA’s commitment to trust, transparency, and public good, key elements in CSGA’s 2.0 Business Plan and Seed Regulatory Modernization (SRM) vision.

Key Information

We invite you to read the following key documents on the membership class proposal. 

Consultation Survey

Members and stakeholders are encouraged to complete a 10-minute survey to provide feedback on the proposed By-law changes mentioned above. The survey will be open from June 12 to August 12, 2024. 

Next Steps

CSGA will review the survey results and provide a report to the Board of Directors. If there is strong member support for the proposals, a Special General Meeting (SGM) would be required for members to vote on the proposed changes.

Reintroduction of Affiliate and Associate Membership Classes

In 2013, CSGA transitioned from multiple membership types, including variations of the Affiliate and Associate membership being proposed, to a single Regular membership type due to implications of the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA).

Today, the CSGA Board of Directors seeks feedback on reintroducing Affiliate and Associate membership classes. These classes provide new ways for stakeholders not currently producing pedigreed seed to engage directly in Canada’s seed crop certification system. The proposal to reintroduce these membership classes is part of a national discussion. It does not impact the Branches at this time, though Branches may choose to follow suit.

Reintroducing Affiliate and Associate membership types will strengthen our expertise, broaden perspectives, and enhance diversity at a critical phase of the evolution and modernization of Canada’s seed sector. As CSGA strives to be the main administrator of Canada’s seed certification system, this proposal helps ensure that all regulated parties engaged in Canada’s seed certification system can become CSGA members. In addition, the proposal amplifies our recommendations to government and highlights our vision of an inclusive seed certification system for the public good of Canadian agriculture.

Affiliate Membership
Any person, partnership, or organization supporting pedigreed seed production.

  • For example, seed growers who wish to maintain membership but are not actively producing seed, seed analysts, crop inspectors, operators of RSEs, and seed distributors not producing Breeder seed or hybrid crops

Associate Membership
Any organization involved or interested in pedigreed seed production. 

  • For example, seed sector associations, reciprocal memberships, national and regional producer associations, international organizations, and government organizations. 

Voting Rights by Membership Class

Adding new membership classes involves clearly defining the rights of each class of members, including voting rights and the ability to become a member of the Board of Directors. As mentioned during the Branch Annual Meetings last winter, this change does not seek to dilute the rights of existing Regular members.

(click to enlarge)


  1. All three CSGA membership classes would have the right to attend CSGA member-to-member meeting sessions and submit member proposals. 
  2. Examples of AGM motions include approvals of the agenda, previous meeting minutes, Association auditors, etc. 
  3. Only Regular Members have the right to run for the Board through nomination at their Branch Annual General Meeting and vote to elect the Regular Directors on the Board.
  4. Only Affiliate Members have the right to run for and vote to elect the Affiliate Director(s) on the Board. The Board is proposing that the Affiliate membership class would have one representative on the CSGA Board of Directors, with only Affiliate members being able to vote and elect their representative. In the proposed By-laws, the Affiliate membership class would have an additional representative on the Board seat if the Affiliate membership exceeds 100 members. 

Please note that the reintroduction of the Affiliate and Associate membership classes WILL NOT

  • change CSGA’s existing Regular Member class
  • dilute the rights of Regular Members 
  • impact the trusted grower model, the basis of CSGA’s seed crop certification

By-law Amendments

In addition to the proposed reintroduction of Associate and Affiliate membership classes, the CSGA Board would like to take this opportunity to amend some of its general governance By-laws to clarify definitions and better align CSGA governance processes with best practices. Examples include but are not limited to, clarifying definitions and interpretations, refining the Honours and member meetings sections, and clarifying the duties of the Board of Directors section. You can view a full breakdown of all the affected By-laws here.

The survey is open from June 12 to August 12, 2024. CSGA and the Board of Directors appreciate your consideration and feedback on these proposals.