The Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) welcomed the announcement of Royal Assent for Bill C-18, An Act to Amend Certain Acts Relating to Agriculture and Agri-Food (the Canadian Agricultural Growth Act).

"CSTA members are pleased that Bill C-18, which contains important amendments concerning Canada's Plant Breeders' Rights Act, came into law" said CSTA President Dave Baute. "This Act puts Canada on the same footing as other UPOV-member countries and unlocks doors for development of new and improved seed varieties within Canada and internationally."

This announcement creates a win-win scenario for all value chain stakeholders. C‐18 will amend 9 agricultural Acts, and will clarify and make those Acts more efficient. The largest part of C‐18 is amendments to Canada's Plant Breeders' Rights Act. Now, all plant varieties protected under Plant Breeders' Rights will be protected under the new Act. The amendments also bring this Act into compliance with the 1991 Convention of the International Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV). Farmers will benefit from greater choice as they will have access to more varieties with a wider range of characteristics, including increased productivity and attributes for specific niche markets. Plant breeders will gain from a more predicable environment for investment and research and the ability to set the conditions for the use of their inventions.

CSTA will be undertaking an outreach and education campaign to make sure everyone understands their rights and responsibilities under C-18. Details will be available shortly at www.cdnseed.org.

"CSTA thanks Members of Parliament and Senators for going the extra mile to bring Bill C-18 to reality," said Baute. "After 22 years of hard work, today's announcement creates the winning conditions which will keep Canadian plant breeders and farmers competitive."