Seed World

CSGA Board Recommends Amalgamation, Glyn Chancey Set to Leave as Executive Director

At its virtual annual meeting this week, the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA) board officially recommended to members the proposal to amalgamate as Seeds Canada, while executive director Glyn Chancey announced he is leaving the organization.

Just over 100 members and over 50 guests joined the meeting, the first of its kind in CSGA’s history. Possibly the last annual meeting for the CSGA, the board officially endorsed the proposed merger to become Seeds Canada, which would see the CSGA join forces with the Canadian Seed Trade Association, Canadian Seed Institute, Canadian Plant Technology Agency and the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada.

“I know there are concerns with the amalgamation proposals. Many have questioned the wisdom of joining with the seed trade. The board has struggled with this question. It’s true there are fundamental differences between the groups,” said outgoing president Jonathan Nyborg.

“This discussion has been going on for five years, and we are at the point where it’s time to call a vote to it and make a decision. For some, this is a difficult decision, there’s no doubt about that. We have 116 years serving Canadian agriculture, and to suggest CSGA would no longer be its own separate entity does not come easily. Other people realize times have changed and we are better off joining forces with our seed sector partners.”

Joe Rennick takes the president’s torch from Nyborg.

Voting on the merger did not take place at the virtual meeting. CSGA members will cast their votes beginning next week and voting will extend until Aug. 27, when a special general meeting of members is held to announce the result. Two-thirds of members who vote must vote yes to the merger in order for the CSGA to join Seeds Canada.

Chancey to Depart

It was announced that Executive Director Glyn Chancey will leave his position after five years at the end of this fiscal year, February 1, 2021 — news that Chancey himself first broke a couple of months ago.

“I’ve been left with an extremely positive impression of everyone involved in this industry and what we’ve accomplished working together,” he said. “Our leadership was strong when I arrived and is world-class now. …I remember walking in the door and hearing about turnaround times that took weeks, and now turnaround times are measured in hours.”

Prior to his start at CSGA, Chancey spent 30 years in public service. During that time, he held executive positions with a number of government departments and agencies, including the Market and Industry Services branch of AAFC, the Plant Health and Biosecurity Directorate of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the Red Tape Reduction Commission Secretariat at the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council Secretariat at the Privy Council Office.

He added that the future is strong for Canadian seed growers whether the CSGA becomes a part of Seeds Canada or not, and that CSGA is working hard to ensure a successful transition.

“Whether it’s CSGA 2.0 or Seeds Canada, members are in good hands,” he added.

More Information Sought

Five out of seven resolutions were carried that will see CSGA members provided with additional information and given additional opportunities to express their opinions on the Seeds Canada merger proposal.

  • A complete SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis of the new seed organization will be provided to help members make a more informed decision.
  • CSGA will provide an interactive forum on their website for members with different viewpoints and concerns about the proposed merger.
  • CSGA members will receive current and accurate financial information from all the potential Seeds Canada amalgamating associations.
  • A resolution was passed to revisit Seeds Canada bylaws and reanalyze the ratification process in order to ensure the new Seeds Canada board shall only be allowed to provide a biography of possible board candidates, but will not be allowed to make recommendations on any possible candidates.
  • A resolution was passed calling on the CSGA board to “remove all of the impediments to having the full discussion for all to engage in and hear” in regards to the merger proposal. This includes a discussion of the weaknesses and threats, as well as opportunities and strengths of the proposed merger; the Town Hall Meetings must include representation from both sides, and all town hall meetings to be recoded and archived in their entirety, for easy review by all members; a web presence provided for opposing views for concerns or questions to be discussed from both sides; the information that the discussion has been broadened on both electronic and hard copy need to be sent to members by July 15 prior to the start of voting.

A resolution was rejected calling on members to receive current and accurate financial information listing potential benefits and liabilities (including anticipated future fees/costs) that all CSGA members can expect over at least the next five years should they join Seeds Canada.

A further resolution was rejected that called on the board to quash the amalgamation with Seeds Canada unless a certain numbers of seats on the Seeds Canada board were reserved for small to mid-sized independent seed growers.

—This story has been updated to reflect the fact that a resolution calling on members to receive current and accurate financial information listing potential benefits and liabilities of a merger was defeated and not passed as originally stated.