Seeds Canada’s 2022 Semi-Annual Meeting Report

Thank you to everyone who attended our 2022 Semi-Annual Meeting in Ottawa this week. Were you not able to join us? No problem! Here is a recap of the meetings and discussions that took place. 

A Successful Opening Session
Members heard from Mr. Francis Drouin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs for Ontario both who extended greetings to members and highlighted their support for Seeds Canada and how they are looking forward to working with Seeds Canada on our key issues.
Seeds Canada’s President Ellen Sparry, and Executive Director, Barry Senft, opened the first in-person Semi-Annual session with greetings and updates on Seeds Canada’s initiatives and what we have been up to since our Annual Meeting in July.
Congratulations Dr. Istvan Rajcan on receiving the 2021 CPBI Award!
Seed Regulatory Modernization Was Front and Centre This Week

Director of Policy, Lorne Hadley and Regulatory Affairs Manager, Lauren Comin, spoke at an SRM session followed by a Q&A session with members. They gave an SRM update and presented Seeds Canada’s position on task team findings. There was discussion surrounding seed certification, variety registration, and grade tables. 

Members heard the most recent updates on the CFIA SRM process, and how completed Task Team recommendations are aligning with Seeds Canada’s SRM policy principles and Functional Framework.

Members participated in an in-depth update on consultations on our Functional Framework and the ISSB (Seed Value Chain). Members also heard the feedback the Board has received from members and proposed next steps. There was a lively discussion and substantive feedback on the Framework and next steps. 
The Policy and Issues Committees Met

Intellectual Property Rights Policy & Issues Committee – Anthony Parker of the Plant Breeders’ Rights Office joined us to review updates on Plant Breeders’ Rights and Variety Protection Files. Following, Seeds Canada’s Intellectual Property Services Manager, Mel Reekie, provided an update on the VUA platform.

Biotechnology Policy and Issues Committee – Jennifer Hubert, from Croplife Canada, presented on Plant Breeding Innovation policy progress and Regulatory Affairs Manager, Lauren Comin, provided an update on the Seeds Canada transparency database. 

Oilseeds, Pulses, & Western Cereals Policy & Issues Committee – Henry de Gooijer from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, discussed a benchmarking study on public plant breeding. Lauren Comin presented on the discontinuation of the prairie canola performance trials followed by a prerecorded video of Chris Vervaet of the Canadian Oilseed Processers Association speaking on the clean fuel policy. 

Corn, Soybeans, & Eastern Cereals Policy & Issues Committee – Heather Russell of the Atlantic Grains Council presented on their new corn seed checkoff in a pre-recorded video. Georges Chaussee, of Sollio Agriculture, spoke about pesticide policies in Quebec followed by Luis Luque of CropLife providing an update on their managing resistance grower contest.

Senator Rob Black Joined the Closing President’s Reception
To close off the first day, President Ellen Sparry, welcomed members to the President’s Reception. Guests heard greetings from Senator Rob Black, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture.
Roy van Wyk, Dave Lockman, and Mel Reekie, Seeds Canada’s Client Services, and Intellectual Property team, attended at the Semi-Annual Meeting where they met with members and clients. They answered questions on our client services, the VUA platform, IP services and more.
See you in Newfoundland!
We’re excited to connect with our members next year, at the 2023 Annual Meeting in St. John’s Newfoundland! The Annual Meeting will take place from July 10-12, 2023, at the Delta Hotels St. John’s Conference Centre. We will share more details in the New Year. 


Seeds Canada is the leading voice of the seed sector in Canada, with members including analysts, breeders, distributors, processors, seed growers and other contributors to the industry, located from coast to coast. Seed is the vital first link in the agriculture value chain, contributing over $6 billion to the economy, employing more than 63,000 Canadians, and exporting more than $700 million annually.

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Lise Newton