b'SUCCESS LIES IN OUR REGULATORY FRAMEWORK / SEEDS-CANADA.CA / SEEDS CANADAWE ALL NEED TO BE CLEAR ON WHATS AT STAKEIN THE SRM DISCUSSIONEVERYONE AGREES THAT innovation is good.on a dime when the need arises.Everyone agrees that investment in research isThe picture of where our system is todaygood. and what the hurdles and barriers to that system But what enables those two things is the cur- aremust be painted clearly. Seeds Canada, rent regulatory system that we have, and if werealongside ag and seed sector partners, helped not all on the same page when it comes to that,paint this picture recently with Seed Summit its difficult to prepare for the future. 2022, which laid out what industry and produc-Im happy to be on board as the new regula- ers alike expect from a modern seed system. A Lauren Comin,tory affairs manager for Seeds Canada. I come tofew examples include:Regulatorythis role after serving as part of a major producer A predictable regulatory environment that Affairs Manager organization, which helps fund wheat and barleyattracts investment into Canadaan environment research, including genetics and variety develop- that makes good business sense for investors and ment, in Western Canada. allows them to gauge potential outcomes and Although I didnt grow up on a farm, thetimelines.knowledge Ive gained over the years about the A competitive, lower cost seed certification importance of variety development and innova- system, in order to remain competitive globally.tion has helped me understand that we cant Timely access to varieties for producers and move forward without a regulatory system totechnologies so the ag and seed sectors dont enable that forward momentum. continue to fall behind global counterparts.We all need to be on the same page in regard The opportunity for breeders to benefit to our current system and how well it suits thefrom innovations in plant breeding, to gain needs of the modern seed sector. That requiresaccess to useful traits, and to enable the industry an understanding of risk. to make use of the opportunities.Anyone who works in the regulatory realmThe above will make or break our ability to knows that our success is based on how wellinnovate, to stay competitive on the global stage, those who design our regulatory system under- and help seed developers get new tools to pro-stand the risks and threats that very system isducers.facing and how to plan for those risks. As our executive director Barry Senft said on Take the public variety development systema recent Germination webinar, a strong regula-for cereals, for example. That system, operatedtory environment developed through consul-largely by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, hastation and a fulsome review to represent the served farmers very well for many years. But asneeds of all stakeholders will result in a stronger the world changes and the business landscapeCanadian seed sector. It will also help build trust changes along with it, we must be mindful of theand transparency and pave the way for increased threats that face the traditional public frameworkconsumer confidence in the sector and sustain-so we can respond quickly in the event thatable advancements. system changes for any reasonincluding gov- Of course, the term consumer doesnt just ernment reallocation of priorities and resources. describe people at the grocery store, but every-Through its Seed Regulatory Modernizationone who buys Canadian seed and the products (SRM) initiative, the Canadian Food Inspectionderived from it.Agency has signalled it is open to substantialAs regulatory affairs manager for Seeds change to our regulatory system, includingCanada, I look forward to seeing the SRM process governments role in the regulation of seed. Thiscontinue and further define what true innovation opens the door for the seed industry to planneeds to look like in Canada. Please feel free to for the future and create a system designed toreach out to me at lcomin@seeds-canada.ca to ensure stability but also be agile and able to turncontinue the discussion. JULY 2021 GERMINATION.CA 33'