Prairie farm groups show results of seed royalty survey

Canadian agricultural producers do not support the two seed royalty models under consideration by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The Alberta Federation of Agriculture, the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan and Keystone Agricultural Producers of Manitoba have been surveying producers online on the proposed changes since July. More than 1000 producers contributed their comments.
“We look forward to working with the federal government now that the election is complete to ensure that any new seed royalty structure is ultimately fair for farmers and producers as it would ultimately impact their bottom line the most,” KAP President Bill Campbell said. “Plant breeding needs to be funded in a manner that is fair and driven by the interests of farmers.”
“What we heard from producers is that they are not in a position to absorb extra costs,” said Todd Lewis, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan. “As price-takers, farmers have little room in their margins for added expenditures. So there is little support for yet another expense to add our bottom lines.”
“Producers are telling us loud and clear that they are not happy with either of the proposed models,” said Lynn Jacobson, president of the Alberta Federation of Agriculture.  “Our outreach confirms that they don’t feel they’ve been sufficiently engaged in consultations to date.  It’s our hope that AAFC will work to rectify this before any further decisions are made.”
Consultations on the two proposed seed royalty structures are currently on hold. The farm groups were unhappy with the lack of producer input in the consultations and decided to survey producers themselves. The survey results will be presented to the new federal agriculture minister.