Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and Alberta Barley do not support the Seed Variety Use Agreement (SVUA) pilot, which the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) and Canadian Plant Technology Association (CPTA) launched during the 2020 planting season as we believe that it was premature for the seed industry to launch a pilot trailing royalty system before the federal government’s consultation process has concluded.
AWC and Alberta Barley believe that any trailing royalty system on varieties developed through public breeding programs, including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and universities, must take into account the fact that farmers have already made a substantial investment into the development of these varieties.
The ability of corporations to protect different varieties of plants lies in the Plant Breeders Rights Act that establishes a system in which companies can ensure their payment for the continued use of their seeds.
Value Creation Timeline
In late 2018 - AAFC conducted a series of consultations based on the two-royalty collection models brought forward by the value creation-working group, the End Point Royalty (EPR) and a SVUA.
Spring 2019 - Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) formed a Value Creation Working Group to assess the two models from a producer perspective.
Fall/Winter 2019 - GGC and Canadian Federation of Agriculture collaborated on shared list of producer principles for support of a value creation model.
In February 2020 – CSTA and CPTA announced the SVUA pilot that was conducted over the 2020 planting season.
March 2020 -AAFC and CFIA announced the end of federal value creation consultations due to the SVUA pilot.
- AWC and Alberta Barley continue to be a part of the CTSA working group, actively advocating for a producer approved value creation system based on the guiding principles.
- AWC and Alberta Barley spend $2.5 to $3 million annually and closer to $4-5 million by 2020 on primary research on behalf of our producers.
- Our programs fund the complete spectrum of crop research. We fund upstream, genomics works projects or pre-breeding which is predominantly (and expected to remain) publicly performed research.
- We also fund agronomic and end-use research which starts with the seed going into the ground and ends with end-use, such as value-added processing and even health. The majority of this research will not receive funding through a value creation mechanism.