December 2020

Seed Regulatory Modernization – A Once in a Generation Opportunity

The fall 2020 edition of Seed to Succeed has been published and mailed out. In this issue, we take a close look at the CFIA’s Seed Regulatory Modernization (SRM) initiative and CSGA’s initial perspective on it, including why variety verification and phenotyping are so important.

In this issue, CFIA’s Seed Section National Manager, Wendy Jahn, explains how updated regulations need to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden and provide flexibility to support innovation and changes in science and technology.

In the same issue, Michael Scheffel, CSGA’s Managing Director, Policy and Standards, provides important insight into the Association’s current thinking on SRM. Starting with a brief look back on the history of the Seeds Regulations, Michael explores the SRM Working Group’s opportunity to educate segments of the agri-food system, and on the kinds of changes CSGA members might benefit from in the areas of Incorporation by Reference, Variety Registration, Seed Certification and the Use of Variety Names.

Seed to Succeed is CSGA’s semi-annual magazine that provides insight into current issues in the seed sector. To join the mailing list, please email us with the subject line “Seed To Succeed.”

Seed to Succeed is also available online.

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Four Seed Organizations Vote to Amalgamate as Seeds Canada

Members of the Canadian Plant Technology Agency (CPTA), the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada (CSAAC), the Canadian Seed Institute (CSI), and the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) have all voted in favour of amalgamating to create a new organization called Seeds Canada.

The new organization is similar to, but different in some important ways, from the version that CSGA members rejected this past summer.

CSGA looks forward to working with the new organization to ensure that seed growers’ voices are aligned with those of the new organization where we have similar policy positions and where we do not, to seek common ground.

For more information, please see the full December 2, 2020 news release.

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CSGA: Ready for Change

The fall 2020 Seed to Succeed cover story “What’s Next for CSGA” and the Association’s November 18 Interprovincial meeting presentation entitled “CSGA 2.0 – Renewal and Modernization” address the fundamental question whether we need to change and if so in what way. The two documents also outline the Board’s Action Plan for answering that question.

To ensure that the CSGA 2.0 Project reflects and is driven by member needs and priorities, CSGA will be surveying the membership on key issues throughout this winter. The first of these surveys is being conducted for CSGA by Stratus Research, and you will be receiving it shortly. We encourage you to participate. If you do, it will make a real difference.

For an in-depth look at “What’s Next for CSGA” from the Board of Directors’ position, we encourage you to read the fall 2020 edition of Seed to Succeed magazine.

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CSGA In-Person AGM 2021 Cancelled

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CSGA Board has decided to cancel the in-person 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Winnipeg. It will be replaced with a virtual AGM, with the date yet to be determined.  The in-person meeting was planned jointly with CSTA, and the decision to cancel the meeting was made together with the health, safety, and well-being of prospective attendees being the overriding consideration.

Stay tuned for an update early in the new year for an announcement on the timing of the virtual AGM.

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Federal Government Adds Seed Corn to the National Commodities List

On November 27, 2020, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced that the government has expanded the National Commodity List (NCL) to include seed corn, oilseeds, grains and maple syrup for the 2021 season. This expansion will allow seed corn growers to access the workers through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP).

The NCL helps determine eligibility and pay within the Primary Agricultural Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program. Access to the SAWP and the Agricultural Stream is limited to employers hiring workers for the specified commodities on the NCL. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, employers and workers using the TFW Program/SAWP are encouraged to apply early to avoid delays. Read the government news release here.

While the CSGA is pleased with the improved access to seed corn labour, the continued expansion of the program to all seed crop kinds remains a priority for the organization. Our work with various partners on this continues.

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Input Needed on Responsible Grain's Seed Selection and Use Module

In last month’s Seed Scoop, we announced CSGA’s participation in the Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Crops’ pre-consultation process, reviewing the voluntary draft Code of Practice for grain farmers and a survey.

During the week of November 23, the Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Crops launched a consultation on its draft code of practice, “Responsible Grain.” One module focuses on Seed Selection and Use. If you are a grain farmer and would like to review the Code of Practice and provide input, please sign up online.

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How did COVID-19 Affect Your Farm Business in 2020?

Last month we asked our members to email us if the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their business. The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) has launched an official survey to learn about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected farm businesses, the supports they need, and expectations for the future. This information will help CAHRC and CSGA understand the pandemic’s impact on the agriculture workforce and help ensure the agriculture industry can recover quickly in the coming years.

Please complete the survey before January 5, 2021.

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Mitchell Japp Steps Down from CSGA Board of Directors

Mitchell Japp has taken on the role of Research and Extension Manager with the Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission. As a result, he has stepped down from his position as CSGA Board of Director Advisor.

On behalf of the entire CSGA Board of Directors and Executive Team, we wish to thank Mitchell for his time and dedication to understanding the requirements of pedigreed seed growers to produce the high-quality seed that contributes to Canada’s quality advantage. Mitchell has supported the industry in variety development, variety registration, and Plant Breeders’ Rights. To the CSGA, he was a trusted advisor who provided valuable advice and input. Mitchell will continue to volunteer on the CSGA’s Seed Regulatory Modernization sub-committee.

In Mitchell’s words, “I think one of the most important things I learned was that the dedication of seed growers’ to their seed is second to none.”

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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
Address: 21 Florence St, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0W6
Click here for complete staff contact information.