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Harper Government Streamlines Variety Registration Process

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - Apr 14, 2015) - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz today announced upcoming changes to streamline and modernize the way crop varieties are registered in Canada. The Government of Canada worked closely with the crop production value chain to ensure that Canada's Variety Registration (VR) system continues to protect Canada's international reputation for high-quality crops and encourages innovation in crop variety development by removing potential barriers to crop innovation. Changes include:

  • Streamlining the variety registration system to two tiers: Basic and Enhanced.

  • Model Operating Procedures that will streamline Recommending Committees. This will give Canadian farmers faster access to the newest cutting-edge varieties.

  • Incorporation by reference that will allow value chain consensus to speed up administrative changes by up to 24 months.

These changes will go through additional consultations with industry groups in the coming months. Today's announcement marks an important step in modernizing Canada's variety registration system. Canadian farmers demand the best quality inputs to keep the competitive advantage they enjoy over farmers from around the world. The Government will continue to remove bureaucratic hurdles that impede Canadian farmers' competitiveness.

These changes are part of the Government's focus on innovation, competitiveness, market development and regulatory modernization to generate economic growth across the sector.

Quick Facts

  • Variety Registration is a regulatory requirement of the Seeds Act which governs the regulation of the seed industry in Canada and is administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

  • Variety Registration is the foundation of Canada's grain quality assurance system, ensuring that information is available to the regulator to prevent marketplace deception, facilitating seed certification and the international trade of seed, and enabling tracking and traceability of varieties in the marketplace.

  • Most major field crops grown in Canada are subject to Variety Registration, such as wheat, canola, pulses and forages. The exceptions include corn, food-grade soybeans, chickpeas, fruits and vegetables, ornamental plants, and turf grasses.


"Our Government continues to work with industry to encourage innovation in Canada's crop sector. We value the participation of the entire crop value chain in making these changes, which will facilitate innovation and productivity, minimize red tape and deliver on the performance demands of our farmers and the quality demands of our customers."

- Gerry Ritz, Agriculture Minister

"The government has clearly listened to the very diverse views of the crop value chain and has developed a balanced policy. When implemented, this new structure will protect Canada's international reputation for quality while creating the predictability, flexibility and efficiency that our sector needs to deliver new, innovative varieties to Canadian farmers."

- Dave Baute, CSTA President

Associated Links

- AAFC - Crop Variety Engagement

- CFIA - Variety Registration