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The Illegal World of Seed Sales

BY: Ashley Robinson

Not every seed is bought from a licensed seed retailer, some are sold illegally. These illegal sales are called brown bag seed sales and range from farm saved seed sales via online listings to trades of seed for services between neighbours. And while it might seem like a little deal, these illegal sales can have wide ranging impacts including harming future seed innovations.

On the Sept. 20 episode of Seed Speaks, we’re taking a closer look at the world of brown bag seed sales and the impact it has. We’re joined by Anthony Parker, commissioner of the Plant Breeders' Rights Office for Canada; Bryan Gerard, president and co-owner of JoMar Seeds Inc. and Jodee Karlowsky, general manager of Alliance Seed.

Parker’s office is part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. He was recently elected as the vice-president of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). Parker was raised on a farm and has worked in agriculture his whole life. He holds a master’s degree in plant breeding and genetics, and a master of laws degree specializing in intellectual property protection.

Gerard’s company JoMar Seeds Inc. is a leading wheat licensing company. He currently sits on the American Seed Trade Association board of directors and Seeds Canada board of directors, along with being on the Plant Breeders’ Rights Advisory Committee. Gerard has also served as chair of the field crop section of the International Seed Federation.

Karlowsky spent the past 13 years of her career passionately marketing all things Alliance Seed. When not at work, Karlowsky enjoys knitting with her yarn stash, reading Scottish detective novels, making to-do lists for her husband, and spending quality time with him and their dog Finley.

Join on Sept. 20 at 12 p.m. CDT on Seed World’s Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages to watch the discussion.


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