Seed World

Take Part in CFIA’s Winter SRM Survey and Help Create the Seed System of the Future

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recently launched its 2024 Seed Regulatory Modernization (SRM) winter consultation and survey. The first consultation last year covered the work done by the initial three task teams — variety registration, seed standards and grade tables, and seed certification.

Now, we’re shifting our attention to the remaining task team recommendations and some working group suggestions we’ve received.

This year’s consultation focuses on topics like variety registration, seed testing, grading, as well as import and sale of common seed, making it relevant for all parts of the value chain.

Additionally, we’re exploring ideas raised in working group discussions, such as the formation of an advisory committee for the seed sector, the development of a digital seed certification system, and potentially increasing third-party involvement in seed certification processes. These discussions, in addition to the task team recommendations, could lead to substantial changes in the seed system in the future.

We’re excited about the progress made with SRM thus far. All but one of the task teams have completed their work, with the final group focusing on information and labelling needs. We’re encouraging input not only through these task teams and the working group but directly via our consultations and letters to the CFIA for those who wish to contribute their thoughts on shaping the future of seed regulations.

Once we gather all this input, government will consolidate it into a policy paper, which will outline the proposed regulatory changes in clear, understandable language. This paper will undergo further consultation in the upcoming year, including engaging with Indigenous communities to ensure their perspectives and concerns are included.

Our timeline remains on track, aiming to release the policy paper in 2024 with formal publication in Canada Gazette Part 1 by the end of 2025, possibly extending to 2026. We’ve made participation in the consultation process as convenient as possible by hosting it online, allowing stakeholders to access executive summaries, delve deeper into reports if desired, and provide input on specific areas of interest.

I hope you’ll take time to fill out the survey and let us know your thoughts. Your input could go a long way in creating the seed system of the future.