Seed World

Seeds Canada’s 2nd Anniversary Caps Off a Busy Policy Agenda

Today marks the second anniversary of the formation of Canada’s newest national seed organization, Seeds Canada.

Seeds Canada President Ellen Sparry sat down with Marc Zienkiewicz in Ottawa, Ont., back in November during the first in-person Seeds Canada Semi-Annual Meeting to discuss what’s on the policy agenda, including the Seed Regulatory Modernization (SRM) file and how she feels now that the findings of the first three SRM task teams are trickling out to the membership.

“At this point, we’re only allowed to have those discussions within the members room, but are pretty excited that those reports are starting to come out. We’re starting to be able to share those some of those findings and how they align with our principles with our members,” she said.

“We’re also hopeful that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is going to be able to release those in a more public way in the new year. So I think that’ll be exciting for everyone to understand what’s in them and what the process is going to be.”

Sparry began her second year as Seeds Canada president in July, and as she prepares to pass the torch next summer, she said the biggest lesson she’s learned while on the board is to be a good listener.

“That becomes even more important when you’re in an organization like this and bringing people together — you need to respect everyone’s opinions as well. You go through life and you develop experiences, and you proceed on.”

Seeds Canada, based in Ottawa, Ont., and formed on Feb. 1, 2021 as a result of the amalgamation of the Canadian Seed Trade Association, Canadian Seed Institute, Canadian Plant Technology Agency, and Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada.

The organization has had a lot on its plate since forming, including holding a major virtual summit to discuss the Seed Regulatory Modernization process and developing what it calls its Functional Framework for a Modern Seed System.

Click here for more interviews with key Seeds Canada board and staff members from the recent Semi-Annual Meeting.