A New Vision for Seeds Canada is Put Forward

- Seeds Canada

The following piece is from our sister publication, Germination.

After it was recently announced that Seeds Canada — the seed industry’s proposed national seed organization — will move ahead without the participation of the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA), a modified vision for the organization has been released.

A new Seeds Canada website has been launched at seedscanada.seedinnovation.ca. If the amalgamating parties all vote in favour, Seeds Canada will launch Feb. 1, 2021, and will see an amalgamation of the following four organizations: the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA), Canadian Plant Technology Agency (CPTA), Canadian Seed Institute (CSI), and Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada (CSAAC).

In August, CSGA members voted not to join Seeds Canada.

“Given the results of the CSGA vote, and the stated desire of CSGA to take this winter to better understand CSGA member views, we feel it is not respectful of the members of the other four organizations to go into a holding pattern for that period. We want to keep the momentum going and respect the direction of our members, who voted in favour of moving forward,” the new Seeds Canada ratification package states.

“The goal is still to have Seeds Canada’s membership include national and provincial seed associations, as well as seed farms from across the country. Seed growers play an integral role in the seed system, and Seeds Canada needs their involvement to succeed.”

While there may be one less amalgamating partner, the vision for Seeds Canada to become the voice of the seed sector, including seed growers, analysts, and the seed trade, remains the same.

The new Seeds Canada ratification package reflects the new context and incorporates member feedback from the summer. Some key changes include:

  • Moving from five amalgamating partners to four, the organizational functions have changed — services offered by CSGA are no longer included, for example, and the financial structure and service delivery model are less complex.
  • No affiliation agreements.
  • In the governance of Seeds Canada, there will no longer be set positions on the board representing regional or value chain seats. Instead, the board members will be selected based on a matrix to ensure diverse representation and a balanced set of competencies. This gives Seeds Canada a more strategic and flexible governance structure.
  • The new Seeds Canada ratification package more clearly demonstrates the importance of member participation and engagement. The committees, driven by members, have been revamped to demonstrate the direct connection between members and the board of directors.

The voting period will vary for each organization, but the voting will occur in the month of November. In some cases, organizations will have a special meeting with electronic voting. In other cases, there will be an option to mail in ballots or vote online over a specific time period. Contact your seed association directly to confirm the details for your organization.