Endpoint Royalty Update

Two resolutions, on royalties on farm saved seed. E2-19 & 9-21

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada carried out consultations across Canada in 2018 on royalties and has yet to conclude which if any royalty collection system will be implemented. However they did open the door for industry lead initiatives. In February 2020 an industry lead seed royalty pilot project was launched in Canada that pilots the use of Variety Use Agreements (VUA) on new seeds developed under the UPOV91 convention. VUA replaces Seed Variety Use Agreement (SVUA).

Recently a website was created to explain VUAs and pull together a timeline to explain the current pilot project and outcomes. Under the current legislation the rights of farmers to save seed is upheld, unless they give up that right when they sign a contract with the seed seller. For example farmers who purchase Canola, must sign and pay for a TUA (Technology Use Agreement) which prevents them from saving their own seed. Seed companies then investigate farmers who suddenly stop purchasing seed from them to make sure that they have not violated that agreement. (A 22kg bag of canola is approximately $630-700, where as 100kg of certified wheat sells for approximately $60 with no TUA)

Information on VUAs, and the industry pilot project can be found on the resource section of VUA website.

In 2020 five associations voted to amalgamate into one association called Seeds Canada, The Canadian Seed Growers Association, who has the highest membership of family owned seed farms was the only association to vote no to the amalgamation. The following associations voted in favor of the amalgamation :

  • The Canadian Plant Technology Agency (CPTA)
  • Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada (CSAAC)
  • Canadian Seed Institute (CSI)
  • Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA)

Seeds Canada will become a reality in February 2021. The vision for this new association is to “become the leading voice of the Canadian seed sector, helping our members succeed and grow in Canada and around the world.”.