Seed World

Giant Numbers Germination January 2012

Giant Numbers

19—Years since Canada agreed to comply with the UPOV 1991 convention, but has still not complied. “Our legislation became compliant with UPOV 1978 in 1990. In 1991, the international convention was revised. Canada signed that revised UPOV 1991 convention in 1992 and said we would comply with it but we still haven’t. So our plant breeders’ rights legislation still only complies with UPOV 1978.”—Patty Townsend of CSTA70—Number of major corporate partnering and licensing deals that law firm Cooley LLP has completed in the past decade, with total deal value in excess of $26.5 billion. The firm has also closed more than 90 life sciences merger and acquisition deals and completed more than 200 life sciences public offerings. The firm was named Biotechnology Law Firm of the Year in the newly released 2011-12 U.S. News—Best Lawyers Best Law Firms ranking. “Our clients are a collection of ag biotech-based companies that produce new plant varieties and products—and so, in order for them to get the return on their huge investment in making these advances in the different products, it’s important for them to have some intellectual property protection.”—Erich Veitenheimer of Cooley LLP



3—Number of marketing channels Pickseed has in Eastern Canada. “So for example in Quebec, we have our wholesale business which supplies to La Coop fédérée, the Mapleseed brand which is sold by independent farm dealers in Quebec and the actual Pickseed agents selling Pickseed varieties and bags directly to the farmer,” explains Robert Clark of Pickseed Companies Group. “Therefore, we have a situation where we’re using three different marketing channels to get to the Quebec farmer, and we use this model throughout our business … each brand or business unit sells separate varieties and they compete against each other … so we use the different brands to gain additional market share within particular regions and then manage the internal conflicts that can sometimes arise through the internal competition.”


1-2—Average number of years it takes for Syngenta to release a new wheat line. “We’ve significantly increased our breeding program and hope to increase that number to several lines being registered every year in the future. And that’s come from our increased breeding program focused around the best genetics globally combined with the high grain quality of Western Canada and developing lines that are suited to our market and acceptable to our registration system.”—Norm Dreger of Syngenta


70—Approximate number of INCOTEC employees in the research and development group. “There are a lot of things happening within our company right now. One of the latest developments is the introduction of ThermoSeed, a disinfection method using hot humid air. We believe making seed clean is the future of the seed industry. I think it will be the standard that all seed will have to have this kind of treatment before it goes into market, as a preventative measure.”—JanWillem Breukink of INCOTEC


18—Percentage of certified seed usage in cereals in Western Canada. “It has been flat at a very low level at around 18 per cent for many years and we’re still working on it,” says Patty Townsend of the Canadian Seed Trade Association. “The use of certified seed in Ontario cereals went up quite high when KVD was removed, and there was some investment there, but now it’s starting to decline a little bit as farmers are saving more and more seed. As they’re doing that, they’re finding they are not getting access to as many new varieties as they used to.”