Ellen Sparry becomes first president of Seeds Canada
Seeds Canada has sprouted! Four seed sector organizations all voted in favour of amalgamation to become one new, national organization. Seeds Canada became official on February 1, 2021. The seeds for a new organization were planted more than five years ago. Since then, members of the seed industry have been working tirelessly to ensure that the idea came to life. Seeds Canada will become the leading voice of the Canadian Seed Sector, helping its members succeed and grow wheat seeds in Canada and around the world. Seeds Canada brings together seed growers, developers, distributors, processors, analysts and other stakeholders under a single organization, which will help build a more successful, modern, prosperous, and resilient seed value-chain.
We are excited to announce that Ellen Sparry, General Manager of C&M Seeds has become the first president of Seeds Canada. Ellen joined C&M Seeds in 1994 as genetics manager for the company’s research and development program. A graduate of the Ontario Ag College, University of Guelph, she has 30 years experience in the ag industry.
“Becoming the first president of a new organization is extremely exciting” says Sparry. “The goal of building a stronger seed industry strongly aligns with the vision of C&M Seeds” she continues. C&M Seeds had been involved in the Canadian Seed Trade Association for over 20 years before the new organization was formed and “with our strong vision of improving the profitability of Eastern Canadian Farmers, having a modern seed industry to suit our needs and those of our customers is an absolute requirement” she continued.
Ellen will, without a doubt, work hard to ensure that the organization works to complete its goal of becoming a more unified voice than in the past. Becoming the first president of a new organization is a huge honour that Sparry says “will be taken as seriously as we take wheat”! – And that’s pretty serious!
What does the new organization mean to our Farmers, Dealers, Customers and Partners?
Having a stronger, harmonized voice across all segments will allow the seed industry to speak louder on the requirements of farmers. Whether we are talking about access to markets, marketing limitations, or anything else that impacts farm profitability, this organization will allow for increased lobbying efforts on behalf its members and ultimately their customers needs. The organization also will be a consolidated voice when it comes to addressing the rules and regulations that may attract, or deter genetics from entering our marketplace. As Canadian farmers, we need the best genetics possible to push towards improving on farm profitability. Seeds Canada will provide the forum for its members to discuss some of the most important barriers to the Seed industry, including intellectual property protection, quality assurance, operational efficiency, seed health and international trade.
C&M Seeds brings genetics from over 15 different countries in the world to test and develop in Canada. Having a strong seed industry will allow the next “Red Wheat Revolution in Canada” to occur with as few barriers as possible. Seeds Canada is an organization that is a “one vote per member” organization. This is important. As a small, family-owned business, having a voice at the table is important to our own future success.
According to Sparry, “the benefits of this organization will start right away”. Whether the hot topic is Value Creation, Seed regulatory modernization, Low level tolerance, or UPOV regulations, the right people will be in the room to ensure that the seed industry is continually adapting to the needs of Canadian Farms.
For more information please visit www.seeds-canada.ca