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Crop Variety Registration in Canada


Modernizing Canada's Variety Registration System

In 2013/2014 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) engaged with stakeholders and consulted the general public via an online survey to initiate a complete national review of the Variety Registration system in Canada and its effects on the development and adoption of new crop varieties.

AAFC, the CFIA and the Canadian Grain Commission also collaborated on an Issues and Options paper that described the current crop Variety Registration system in Canada and outlined some potential options for modernizing and streamlining the system. Representatives of Canada's seed and crop production sector (plant breeders, producers, processors, the seed sector, etc.) for crop kinds which are currently subject to registration and also for those crop kinds not currently subject to variety registration, were invited to review the Issues and Options paper and complete a public online survey hosted by AAFC.

Key Findings

Some 140 responses were received, with the majority coming from primary producers, seed companies, farm organizations, industry associations, crop marketers/handlers, and exporters. These respondents represented a number of crop value chains, including canola, wheat, rye, triticale, pulses, barley, oats, soybeans, tobacco and forages. Some respondents represented multiple crop value chains. Responses were received from across Canada, but the majority were from the Prairie provinces and Ontario. Overall, 87% of the respondents were in support of the government being in charge of Variety Registration.

Respondents were asked to indicate their preference among the four options presented in the paper:

Overall, 57% of respondents supported varying options for reform, as follows:

In addition to indicating their preferred option, respondents were given the chance to provide more detailed input on a number of related issues, such as:

A selection of individual responses to these and other questions can be found in the full summary report. To request an electronic copy of the full report, please contact:

Departmental Publications Service
Telephone: 613-773-1444
Fax: 613-773-1498

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