April 26, 2021

CSGA Unveils its Business Plan

The CSGA 2.0 Business Plan was introduced to members and stakeholders at the 2021 Annual Meeting on Wednesday, April 14. The CSGA 2.0 project is the Association’s plan for a strong future for the Association.

This is a grassroots plan, developed by six working groups led by the Board of Directors alongside CSGA’s seven regional Branches, volunteer seed growers from across the country, and sector stakeholders. Considering the number of stakeholders involved, the swift approval of the Plan is a testament to its foresight, accuracy, and relevance.

The plan outlines CSGA’s position on Seed Regulatory Modernization and readiness to be entrusted for a greater role in delivering the seed certification program, our commitment to a digital business model and a digital end-to-end seed certification system, and our commitment to support learning and professional development of those involved in seed crop production. The Plan also outlines our priorities in governance and partnerships. 

  1. Seed Policy: A set of specific recommendations to renew the public-private partnership with government and for greater CSGA leadership.
  2. Digital Business Model Delivering: a digital end-to-end seed certification system and creating value-producing opportunities with digital technologies.
  3. Professional Development: Supporting the voluntary development of a diverse set of grower skills and solidifying our reputation as knowledgeable, experienced seed professionals.
  4. Governance: Bringing more voices to the table, enabling more grassroots participation and a renewed focus on good governance aligned with business needs.
  5. Partnerships and Government / Stakeholder Relations: Working even more closely with a wider range of government, seed sector, and value chain partners.
  6. National-Branch Coordination: Communication, joint work planning, and finding ways to share resources and do things more efficiently.
  7. Promoting the Value of Certified Seed: Telling the story of the value Certified seed and the pedigreed seed system bring to Canada and driving interest in Certified seed.

This Business Plan charts the course in each of these areas, defining the CSGA vision for where we want to go and what we want to achieve with our partners and stakeholders. The Plan will ensure that the seed crop certification system works for everyone and will help strengthen and renew the organization for years to come.

We will be sharing more from the big ideas of the Plan in the coming weeks. You can expect to see further communication on specific issues as each priority area advances. In the meantime, for a more detailed look at each of our priorities, please see the full CSGA 2.0 Business Plan available online.

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Recap of the 117th CSGA Annual General Meeting

For the second year in a row now, CSGA held its 117th Annual General Meeting virtually on Wednesday, April 14. President Joe Rennick welcomed over 109 attendees to the meeting and spoke briefly about the last year, including the impacts of COVID-19, the amalgamation vote, and the development of the CSGA 2.0 Business Plan.  

CSGA President Joe Rennick introduced Doug Miller, the incoming Executive Director. Doug spoke to how, over the last ten years with CSGA, he has seen the Association transform into the modern organization that it is today. In his new role as Executive Director, the Association will take a proactive, flexible, and efficient approach towards exciting new opportunities. He stated that with the CSGA 2.0 Business Plan and CFIA’s Seed Regulatory Modernization, CSGA is prepared to step up and take on more responsibility. Doug said he is confident the Association will be successful in addressing and dealing with challenges and opportunities that come our way – just as CSGA has always done over the last 117 years.

The Association was pleased to unveil its CSGA 2.0 Business Plan, with Doug presenting an overview of the Plan. The Business Plan is based on three concepts: CSGA as authority for the seed certification system, digitalization of the system, and governance and partnerships. For a more detailed overview, please see Article 1 above and the Business Plan online.

Outgoing Executive Director Glyn Chancey provided an overview of the recently released 2020-2021 Annual Report, the Association’s financial performance for 2020-2021 as detailed in the Financial Statements, and the trend of its financial position over the last five years.  

Jonathan Nyborg, CSGA Past President, Chair of the Nominations and Resolutions Committee, continued with the election of the new Board of Directors as presented in Article 3 below, and presented the four resolutions submitted by CSGA Regular Members for consideration.

Resolution #1 – Carried

WHEREAS Licensed Seed Crop Inspectors (LSCI) are authorized for seed crop inspections in Canada.

WHEREAS LSCI follow instructions developed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to perform seed crop inspections based on Circular 6.

WHEREAS the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA) appraises the seed crop inspection report to certify seed crops through the interpretation of Circular 6.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that CSGA explore options for including LSCI in its governance structure to enhance the communication, collaboration, and execution of seed certification regulations in Canada.

Moved by Darrell Holmstrom; Seconded by Sarah Weigum

Resolution #2 – Carried

WHEREAS, Health Canada has opened consultations on how Canada regulates plants with novel traits, including those produced through gene-editing technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9, and

WHEREAS, a continuous stream of innovative, world-class plant varieties are the foundation of our business as Seed Growers, and

WHEREAS, Health Canada has a voluntary Transparency Initiative expanded for foods derived from plant breeding using gene-editing technologies, and

WHEREAS, CSGA’s vision is that of an innovative, science-based organization. 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that CSGA write a letter to Health Canada in support of the use of new and innovative plant breeding methods which support the resiliency of Canada’s Agri-food sector provided that the end-product is deemed safe to consumers as determined by a science-based approach.

Moved by Mike Shewchuk; Seconded by Tracy Niemela

Resolution #3 – Carried

WHEREAS, CSGA members recently voted no to amalgamation with the four other Seeds Canada organizations;

WHEREAS, we believe this is a vote of confidence for the CSGA to remain as an independent organization;

WHEREAS, members will support CSGA’s modernization and seed certification 2.0;

WHEREAS, CSGA will extend an invitation to Seeds Canada for communication on all seed related matters; 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that CSGA will remain an independent organization that is willing to collaborate with any seed industry partner in order to make a positive contribution to the CSGA membership and the Canadian agriculture industry. 

Moved by Blair Rempel; Seconded by Heather Kerschbaumer

Resolution #4 – Carried

WHEREAS, a lot of effort went into making the 2021 virtual CSGA Annual Meeting a success; and

WHEREAS, numerous organizations provided funds to assist with the financing of the Annual Meeting;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that CSGA extend thanks to all the speakers, sponsors, organizers, and staff for their efforts and contributions to the 2021 virtual CSGA Annual Meeting.

Moved by Roy Klym, Seconded by Andrew Ayre

Following a closed member-to-member discussion session, the motion to adjourn the meeting was carried.

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The New CSGA Board of Directors

The CSGA is pleased to present its new 2021-2022 Board of Directors.

As per CSGA by-laws, the affairs of the Association are directed by a Board of Directors comprised of no less than fourteen (14) and no more than twenty-four (24) Directors. By-law 6.03 (a) provides that every seed-producing region of the country is represented on the Board by a Seed Grower Director. Per By-law 6.03 (c) the Board may also appoint additional Directors from the Regular Members, who will hold office until the close of the next AGM. The Board is also supported by an Academic Advisor and Advisors nominated from the provincial agriculture Ministries of each Province.   

Your CSGA Executive Committee:

  • President, Joe Rennick of Saskatchewan
  • 1st Vice President, Dale Connell of Ontario
  • 2nd Vice President, Glenn Logan of Alberta
  • Past President, Jonathan Nyborg of New Brunswick
  • Provincial Government Advisor, Peter Scott of New Brunswick

Your Board Directors:

  • David Wuthrich of British Columbia
  • Scott Horner of Alberta
  • Chelsea Tomlinson of Alberta
  • Roy Klym of Saskatchewan
  • Laurie Wakefield of Saskatchewan
  • Andrew Ayre of Manitoba
  • Ryan Murray of Manitoba
  • Shannon Bieman of Ontario
  • Carl Bolton of Ontario
  • Roxanne Asselin of Quebec
  • Richard Brault of Quebec
  • André Lussier of Quebec

Your Board Advisors:

  • Bryan Harvey, Academic Advisor of Saskatchewan
  • Lori Vickers, British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture
  • Chami Amarasinghe, Manitoba Ministry of Agriculture and Resource Development
  • Doug Pchajek, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
  • Joanna Follings, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Damien Chaput, Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec
  • Steven Tattrie, Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture
  • Steve Hamill, Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture and Land

The Advisor for Alberta is to be confirmed. Contact information for the new Board can be found online.

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Reminders for the 2021 Crop Season

Seed Crop Certification and Membership/Renewal Applications are now live on SeedCert (CSGA’s Members’ Area). Here are a few reminders for the application process:

  • The Membership Application/Renewal Form must be completed before submitting your Applications for Seed Crop Certification.
  • Growers who would like a third party to submit applications on their behalf must authorize those third parties on their Membership Application/Renewal Form. If that step is missed, there is a form on the Forms tab in SeedCert which can be used to grant authorization.
  • Bulk application spreadsheets are distributed to assignees and tollers and those growers who produced at least 25 fields in the previous year. Bulk applications should be submitted using the upload tool on the Forms tab in SeedCert.

Foundation status seed of crop kinds in Sections 2 and 3 may be produced by all growers in 2021 regardless of accreditation.

Maps and/or GPS coordinates are required for each pedigreed seed crop (field).  The field map, or GPS coordinates, must be submitted at the time of application, or within 14 calendar days of the date of application, through the Members’ Area (SeedCert). A $50 penalty will be applied to accounts with applications without a map or GPS coordinates supplied within this time frame. 

If the application is made after the respective crop application deadline date, the applicant is provided a grace period of 14 calendar days from the date of application or one (1) day before the field is inspected, whichever is less, to submit a map or GPS coordinate into the Members’ Area (SeedCert platform). A $50.00 incomplete application penalty will be applied per application (sequence) if a map or GPS coordinate is not supplied within this timeframe.

Probation plot production requirements were changed significantly in 2021. Growers currently on probation will receive a specific communication later in the season explaining how these changes affect them. If you have any immediate questions, please contact the CSGA office.

Important Note: As COVID-19 continues to impact our lives in nearly every way, please follow the guidelines of your local health authority if you absolutely must interact with your inspector in person. If you are concerned that your fields are at risk of not being inspected, please contact the CSGA office immediately so that we can work with you, the inspection services, and the CFIA to find a solution.  

For more detailed information on the application process, please consult the 2021 Application Support Document.

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Thank You to Our AGM Sponsors

CSGA would like to thank our sponsors for their generosity in sponsoring our 117th Annual General Meeting. Their ongoing support of the Association is greatly appreciated.

Top Sponsors

  • SeCan
  • BASF
  • 20/20 Seeds Labs

Additional Sponsors

  • Bayer CropScience Canada
  • Farm Credit Canada
  • CANTERRA SEEDS
  • Syngenta
  • The Crop Development Centre
  • Prograin
  • SGS Canada
  • C&M Seeds

Please visit our sponsor page to learn more about our sponsors.

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Help Shape Plant Breeding Innovation

Health Canada’s consultation on Canada’s Novel Food Regulations with a focus on plant breeding signals the government’s intent to modernize its policies on the regulation of innovative plant products.

The consultation is based on two proposed “guidance pieces” focused on plant breeding:

  1. Proposed Changes to Health Canada Guidance on the interpretation of Division 28 of Part B of the Food and Drug Regulations (the Novel Food Regulations): When is a food that was derived from a plant developed through breeding a “novel food”?
  2. Proposed Health Canada Guidance on the pre-market assessment of foods derived from Retransformants under Division 28 of Part B of the Food and Drug Regulations (the Novel Food Regulations).

You can participate in the consultation and share your thoughts on the proposed new guidance via the Health Canada survey. The survey closes on May 24, 2021.

Additional Information

More information on gene editing is available here. If you wish to show your support for continued innovation in Canadian agriculture, Advancing Agriculture makes it easy here.

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Contact Us

CSGA staff are here to help you. Don’t hesitate to contact us. Remember the CSGA national office operates in the Eastern Time (ET) zone.

Telephone: (613) 236-0497
Email: communications@seedgrowers.ca
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 8455, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 3T1
Courier Address: 21 Florence St, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0W6

Click here for complete staff contact information.