Newly launched Seeds Canada conducted its inaugural Annual Meeting July 9-16, a virtual affair that brought together seed industry members, stakeholders, and government representatives from across the country to discuss a range of policy priorities and issues pertaining to the sector.
Seeds Canada was established in February of this year.
“The strength of an industry coming together was on display at this meeting,” said Seeds Canada President Ellen Sparry. “Having representation from across the seed value chain under one roof – as shown at this meeting and going forward as Seeds Canada — will make us a stronger partner able to offer policy direction and member and client services from a broader base of understanding and resources.”
The Welcome Session featured an address from CFIA President Dr. Siddika Mithani, who spoke to the Seed Regulatory Modernization process, noting the Agency’s commitment to a full-scale review and openness to substantial change. Dr. Mithani also provided clarity on CFIA’s approach to Novel Products of Biotechnology. She acknowledged the need for innovators to have a clear path to market and clear regulatory guidance. Dr. Mithani noted the various joint opportunities and challenges facing the sector — from climate change mitigation efforts to the effective use of digitized information — and called for continued close collaboration between CFIA and Seeds Canada.
The meeting’s attendees also heard from keynote speaker Dr. JP Pawliw-Fry, New York Times bestselling author, who spoke to change management and relationship building.
Kendal Netmaker also addressed the meeting and spoke from an Indigenous persons worldview about his experiences and incorporating diversity and inclusion into the workplace and day-to-day life.
Seeds Canada’s various committees also met as part of the proceedings.
The Annual Meeting also hosted a Seed Testing Workshop and Open Forum, a Meet and Greet with new Executive Director, Barry Senft, and a Closing Reception.
“We have a busy year ahead, but we have tremendous momentum and dedicated members and partners. Let’s harness that energy as we move the discussions had at this meeting forward into action and progress,” said Senft. “In the coming months, we will be undergoing a strategic planning process, and we look forward to your continued engagement.”