Seed World

Looking at the Big Picture of SAA with Rick Winn

Aiden Brook, business development manager at Seed World Group, sat down with Rick Winn, quality assurance manager for HM.CLAUSE and vice president of the Seed Association of the Americas (SAA), at SAA’s 8th Seed Congress of the Americas. Winn chats about his time as vice president, SAA’s main concerns and his passion for phytosanitary issues.

“There’s a lot of new and challenging phytosanitary requisites that we have to try to meet, and they change too often,” explains Winn. “There’s been some emerging pest challenges that have come up, like tomato brown rugose fruit virus (TBRFV). We’ve been working for many years now on a systems approach — a different way to do phytosanitary certification of seed, instead of doing consignment by phytosanitary certification. The idea is to have a broader, harmonized system.”

As Winn gears up to take over the presidency in two years, he shares more about the current issues SAA is working on. One main focus is determining what can be done regionally across a country, rather than specifically within a country.

“They [SAA] do a really good job of helping the individual national seed associations, as they try to find synergies across different company countries,” says Winn.

While leadership roles are crucial for success, Winn makes sure to give credit to all of the moving parts in the organization for the great work that has come out of SAA.

“As president, the reality is that it’s the team at SAA that do all the work. They’re great. We’re there to help bring a perspective from the industry, and the reality is that the more people from the industry that are involved, the better SAA and organizations like the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and the International Seed Federation (ISF) can do their job and represent the needs of the industry in general. What one person can really do is pretty minimal, quite frankly,” he concludes.

To learn more, watch the full video below:

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