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‘Partners’ boost plant breeders’ rights drive


January 17, 2014
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Jan. 17, 2014, Ottawa — A group of leading Canadian farmer and agricultural organizations are
joining forces to support Canadian government legislation intended to
improve Plant Breeders’ Rights in Canada.

Partners in Innovation, which represents farmer and agricultural groups
across Canada, believes expanded seed variety protection for plant
breeders will promote further investment in seed research and innovation
to benefit farmers and the economy.

Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Gerry Ritz, says that
legislation Bill C-18, the Canadian Agricultural Growth Act, contains
amendments to Canada’s Plant Breeders’ Rights Act to bring it into
conformity with to the 1991 convention of the International Union for
the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV).

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Improved varieties that deliver higher yields

The Partners in Innovation commend Minister Ritz and the government for
taking the steps needed to strengthen Plant Breeders’ Rights in Canada.
This will give both public and private sector plant breeders the
confidence and ability to invest in developing improved varieties that
deliver higher yields and better agronomics.

This is critical for the future of our farmers and our agricultural industry’s ability to compete in the global market.

“As farms work to match production with the growing global population it
becomes increasingly important that they have the tools needed to
continue to increase production. New varieties are an important segment
of this growth. Ensuring that our plant breeders’ rights regulations
are aligned with our global trading partners is imperative,” said Keith
Kuhl, President of the Canadian Horticultural Council.

Canadian legislation needs updating

Canada is one of only two developed country UPOV members whose
legislation does not comply with UPOV 1991. This puts Canadian breeders
and farmers at a competitive disadvantage.

Peter Entz, president of the Canadian Seed Trade Association says that
adopting UPOV 1991 “will mean that Canadian breeders will have
intellectual property protection tools that are comparable to those used
by breeders around the world, opening new markets for Canadian
innovations and giving Canadian farmers access to genetics and varieties
developed internationally.”

Partners in Innovation members include:

• Barley Council of Canada


• Alberta Barley Commission

• Canadian Horticultural Council


• Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance


• Canadian Potato Council


• Canadian Seed Trade Association


• Fédération des Producteurs de Cultures Commerciales du Québec


• Grain Farmers of Ontario


• Grain Growers of Canada


• Manitoba Pulse Growers Association


• The Prairie Oat Growers Association


• Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association


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