Western Canadian farm organizations want to hear from Canadian producers on proposed changes to seed royalty structures for cereal crops. A new online survey launched today to get their input.
Over the past year, AFA has worked closely with general farm organizations including Manitoba’s Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP), Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) to review the existing models proposed by the government.
Upon review of the models presented to date, AFA and other farm organizations feel there are several issues not addressed in the current proposals. In farm organization meetings, an area of significant antagonism for producers has been for proposed royalties on farmer-saved seed.
Although Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency held a series of public meetings this past winter to gauge feedback on the two proposed models, the government consultation process is currently on hold.
“The creation of a new seed royalty model for cereal crops will mean significant changes for producers when it comes to the issue of farmer-saved seed. Further exploration and consultation is absolutely critical to ensure that the interests of Canadian producers are reflected in any resulting model.”
– Lynn Jacobson, AFA President.
Online survey to capture farm producer input before government consultations
AFA, KAP and APAS want to hear from a greater number of farm producers on the proposed changes before the government consultations resume later this year. Producers can make their voice heard by taking a few minutes to complete the online survey here:
“Producers certainly weren’t satisfied with the level of engagement and consultation that went into the development of the two models currently under consideration,” said Todd Lewis, APAS President. “We want to make sure that producers stay on top of these discussions and have their voice heard throughout the process.”
In June, APAS, KAP and AFA presidents, board members and staff met in Regina for an in-depth discussion on cereal seed royalties. They explored a model that addresses several principles believed to be fundamental to any approved model, to ensure it reflects the interests of Canadian producers.
These principles, which received near unanimous support from farmer delegates across Canada, require that any value creation model must achieve the following outcomes:
- Maintain and enhance public research, development and finishing of new varieties;
- Preserve or enhance current public funding;
- Be transparent with producer involvement;
- Maintain the privilege of farmer-saved seed;
- Incorporate systems that are administered in a fair and equitable manner; and
- Ensure producers can remain competitive in the world marketplace.
Our analysis of the existing proposals for seed models that utilize a trailing royalty and/or an end point royalty shows that these current proposals fall short of meeting the principles outlined above.
That’s why our prairie farm organizations are reaching out to farmers to see what they think.
More input sought from producers
It’s the belief of AFA and our prairie farm organization colleagues that anything that has such a substantial impact on farmers must engage farmers in the process before the creation and approval of a new model.
With the current government consultation process on hold, we’re making it easy for farm producers to have their voice heard by taking the online survey at: https://www.seedroyaltysurvey.com/
“It is crucial that we hear from farmers and producers on the two new proposed models, because consultation with those who are directly affected ultimately leads to better decision making,” Bill Campbell, president of Keystone Agricultural Producers said. “Our hope is that producers will take the time to get involved in this process and ensure their needs are met under a new royalty structure.”
For more information, read our AFA news release here.