Manitoba seed growers weigh in on failed merger

The Manitoba Seed Growers’ Association says it is disappointed with vote results

The Manitoba Seed Growers’ Association (MSGA), which endorsed the Canadian Seed Growers Association (CSGA) merger with four other seed groups to form Seeds Canada, is disappointed CSGA members voted it down.

But the MSGA said it is pleased many of its members took time to study the issue and vote.

“Our take-home message to our members is to please stay engaged in your industry,” MSGA president Daniel Sanders said in an email Sept. 3.

That’s going to be important as the seed industry faces some threats, the Manitou-area seed grower wrote.

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“The CFIA could see seed regulatory modernization as an opportunity to reduce its support for the national seed program, and seed certification in particular, in order to focus its resources on health and safety programs,” Sanders wrote. “Over the years, the CFIA has privatized seed crop inspection and oversight of the registered seed establishment and accredited seed laboratory programs, resulting in cost increases for seed sector stakeholders.

“Further privatization and/or fee increases may be more than some small and medium-size enterprises can bear. The seed sector needs to present a common and united front to insist that the CFIA continues to provide essential oversight, enforcement, and science support for seed. Seeds Canada would have ensured a strong voice for the seed sector when speaking to government.”

About the author

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Allan Dawson

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.

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