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..