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Can the Seed Industry Still Come Together?

Seeds Canada is proposing the formation of an independent standards setting body which would oversee the country’s seed regulatory framework. Some say it could start an important conversation.

Canada’s newest national  seed organization has proposed the formation of an independent standards setting body (ISSB) as part of its new Functional Framework for a Modern Seed System.

The job of the ISSB would be to institute a robust governance structure to maintain balanced representation, informed consensus-based decision-making and transparency in the Canadian seed system, said Seeds Canada policy director Lorne Hadley.

The proposed ISSB would be to “look at the regulations from all sides and all viewpoints” before being sent to government for adoption, Hadley said.

Lauren Comin, regulatory affairs manager for Seeds Canada, said the ISSB vision imagines a robust governance structure with balanced representation across the value chain.

“The mandate is going to be very outcome based, to keep all of our [stakeholders] happy and involved in the regulatory framework,” she said.

Diverse value-chain representation would ensure variety acceptability and seed quality, which are the foundation of seed standards. A potential governance structure could include a board with diverse experience in the seed and agriculture industry, as well as committees which include board representation and other industry and government expertise and advisors, according to a draft document presented at the annual meeting.

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