Seed Royalities

Res #: 27-05A
Number: 27
Year: 2005
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Resolution No. 27-05A

WHEREAS, producers seed numerous crops; and

WHEREAS, producers have access to different levels of seed in the same variety (i.e. certified, registered, foundation, etc) from seed growers with premium prices; and

WHEREAS, seed growers are asking for royalties on all seed, including producer grown grain that is used by producers for seed;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby and insist that seed growers be limited to their own production for royalties, and producers be free to use their grain as seed if desired.

Response from Honourable Andy Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:

Assuming Resolution 27-05A is referring to varieties protected under Plant Breeders' Rights, Canada's existing Plant Breeders' Act does not prevent farmers from saving and using seed of a protected variety. Currently, this provision, which is often referred to as the "farmers' privilege," is implicit in the Act, but not explicitly stated. However, farmers are not allowed to sell farm-saved (common) seed of a protected variety to other producers without the authorization of the holder of the right.

Please see the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) Fact Sheet, "Farmers' Ability to Save Seed Produced from Protected Varieties." The Government of Canada has no plans to eliminate farmers' rights, but rather, it is proposing amendments that would clarify the "farmers' privilege" by making it more explicit in the Act. For additional information, you may wish to visit the Planter Breeders' Rights Office Web page on the CFIA Web site at: