Seeds Canada taps industry expert for regulatory overhaul

In a move signaling commitment to innovation and regulatory evolution, Seeds Canada has enlisted the expertise of Dr. Erin Armstrong. Recognized as a leader in the seed sector, Armstrong has been tasked with steering the Independent Standard Setting Body (ISSB). This initiative seeks to revamp and streamline the seed industry’s regulatory framework.

Introduced in Seeds Canada’s 2022 Annual General Meeting, the ISSB concept is envisioned as a steadfast assembly of seed and grain specialists. Its mission? To offer invaluable insights directly to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). More than just a think tank, ISSB champions transparency and prevents potential conflicts between setting standards and service delivery.

Seeds Canada’s President, Ellen Sparry, expressed the organization’s confidence in Armstrong, highlighting her diverse experiences within the seed industry. This varied background, according to Sparry, will ensure a balanced approach to the task at hand.

“We are pleased to announce Dr. Armstrong is taking on the role of developing the independent advisory body for seed regulation. Given Erin’s experience in different roles within the seed industry, we believe her varied perspective on this topic will provide independence for the process,” says Ellen Sparry, President, Seeds Canada.

Barry Senft, CEO of Seeds Canada, emphasized the necessity of this revamp. “Farmers ability to access advancements in technology is a vital outcome of a successful regulatory system. The concept of the advisory body is to recommend regulatory changes to CFIA for timely consideration and implementation; the current process takes significant time and can leave farmers without a competitive edge.”

Shifting from its present operational approach, Seeds Canada advocates a renewed focus on impactful agricultural industry issues, like variety registration and domestic seed quality assurance. The vision is clear: entrust the ISSB with the responsibility of these technical matters, ensuring swift resolutions and timely implementation.

The independent advisory group is poised to change the seed industry, fostering a dynamic environment that responds adeptly to evolving sector needs.