April 2020

Changes to CSGA Bylaws

On February 18th, 2020, a Special General Meeting was convened in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec to:

  1. Confirm member support for the CSGA Board of Directors’ position on the proposed amalgamation of the CSGA with the Canadian Seed Trade Association, the Canadian Plant Technology Agency, the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada and the Canadian Seed Institute; and
  2. Seek member ratification of By-Law changes approved by the Board of Directors of the CSGA on November 18, 2019, that would introduce certain absentee voting rights for members of the Association.

Members voted in support of both items.

As a result, CSGA By-Laws were updated to allow the Board of Directors, at their discretion, to provide members the opportunity to vote remotely (ex. electronic voting, mail in votes). The next step in the process is for the Board to develop and adopt a policy regarding when this option is to be exercised. For a description of the By-Law changes, please consult the Notice sent to members in the November 2019 issue.

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Temporary Fees for the 2020-2021 Crop Season

At its November 20th, 2019 Special General Meeting of Members in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, three resolutions on fee increases and modernization efforts were presented, debated and passed by the members in attendance. In late December and January, the CSGA Board of the Directors invited member feedback on proposed fees increases for the 2020-2021 fiscal year ending January 31st, 2021.

Based on the results of that consultation, the fees for the upcoming season have been updated and are described in the Application Support Document for 2020. The membership fees have also evolved but in a way that is revenue-neutral. The changes to the membership fees are intended to increase the representation of those involved in seed production and to encourage succession planning. In 2020, the first member on an account will be charged a $240 fee but each additional member on the account will only be charged a $25 fee, where previously each member would have been charged $200. Growers who would like to add members to their account can identify those members on their Membership Renewal/Application Form. A full listing of approved fees is available at: https://seedgrowers.ca/about-csga/fees/

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Circular 6: New and Improved Version for 2020

The CSGA’s 2017-2023 Strategic Plan identified modernization of Circular 6 as a key objective. A multi-phase plan has been implemented to ensure that the standards and requirements reflect the most recent scientific and technological advancements, as well as market demands and production realities. Over the past three years numerous improvements have been made. Specific changes to the standards and requirements that are new for 2020 are described in the Notice of Changes to Circular 6 Effective in 2020.

The focus of the third phase of the project, has been on making Circular 6 easier to understand, by making mandatory requirements clearer and separate from best management practices. In addition, Circular 6 has been reformatted and redesigned to be simpler and more user-friendly. The first section entitled “General Requirements for All Pedigreed Seed Cropsdescribes the requirements that are applicable to all pedigreed seed crops including membership and an application for seed crop certification. Accredited Plot Growers can find the requirements that are applicable to plot production in the “General Requirements for Plot Production” section. Probationary growers can find the requirements that are applicable to probation plot production in the “General Requirements for Probation Plot Production” section. Those interested in becoming a CSGA-accredited plot producer, can visit this page for requirements and application information.

The remaining sections of Circular 6 are a series of “one-pagers” that describe the crop specific standards (e.g. land use, isolation, impurity standards) for the relevant crop kind and class. To download the crop specific standard document, type the crop kind and class being produced in the “search” tool on the “Regulations page” of the CSGA website.

The complete official revised version of the Canadian Regulations and Procedures for Pedigreed Seed Crop Production can also be found on the CSGA website. If you have any feedback on the revised version of Circular 6, we would appreciate hearing from you.

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The 2020 Crop Season has begun!

Growers may now work on their paperwork for the 2020 season by submitting their Membership Renewal/Application Forms and their Applications for Seed Crop Certification.

Application packages for 2020 have been distributed; if you have not received yours, please contact us by sending an email to applications@seedgrowers.ca or by calling (613) 236-0497.

It is recommended that growers thoroughly review the 2020 Application Support Document as there have been some significant changes to the format of Circular 6, to the application method for plots, and to CSGA’s fee structure. If you have any concerns or if you experience any difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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In Case You Missed It: CSGA & CSTA Joint Annual
Meeting Cancellation

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, CSTA and CSGA have cancelled the Joint 2020 Annual Meeting in Winnipeg. The terms of the meeting and hotel contracts have been renegotiated to allow this event to be held in 2021 at the same location, without incurring any significant change penalties. CSGA would like to take this opportunity to thank Kristen Hendricks and the team at CSTA for leading this difficult negotiation; in the process, positioning us for success in 2021.

Plans for a virtual CSGA AGM are being developed and the details will be communicated to members in upcoming editions of Seed Scoop. We encourage you to contact us with any questions at communications@seedgrowers.ca, or at 613-236-0497 x231.

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In Case You Missed It: CSGA Business Continuity During COVID-19

Last week, CSGA communicated with members our plans for CSGA business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you missed it, here is the communication sent to members.

Dear Members,

The world faces a serious and unprecedented health crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic. Seed sector partners are working together and closely monitoring the situation in Canada and its impacts on our industry.

Business continuity is the highest priority after the safety of our staff. It is our intent to continue to provide excellent customer service to our members and clients throughout this period. Our well-established remote work capabilities have allowed our entire team to transitioned to remote work. You can continue to reach our staff via office telephone numbers and email addresses. If you cannot get through, please leave a message and we will get back to you.

The province of Ontario (where CSGA’s head office is located) has ordered all non-essential businesses to close for a period of 14 days. As support services for agriculture have been deemed an essential business, CSGA will remain open and services will continue to be delivered nationally. We will continue to adapt and find ways to meet your needs as this crisis unfolds. We ask for your patience and understanding as we make the required adjustments together.

We encourage members to send in seed crop certification documents and payments via the Members’ Area of the CSGA website. If you haven’t previously used this resource, please call our office and we will happily walk you through the platform. As the situation is continuously changing, please do not send applications, cheques or other documentation by mail at this time.

Our partners at the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council are routinely updating a resource webpage to help farms navigate COVID-19 including the latest information, recommended protocols, employee management tips, links to authorities and tools like posters and policies. We encourage you to visit the page for tips on how to protect your farm. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture also has a resource page.

If COVID-19 is impacting your seed business and you’d like to share comments with us, please reach us at communication@seedgrowers.ca. We will continue to update you as details change.   We wish everyone continued health.

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Resource: Canadian Food Inspection Agency Webpages on COVID-19

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is working diligently to address the challenges and concerns raised by industry and consumers regarding COVID-19. On behalf of the CFIA, members are encouraged to consult two information webpages providing information and guidelines to businesses and industry.

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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 https://seedgrowers.ca/contact-us/ for complete contact information for our staff members.