Canada’s ecological seed growers are often looking for tools and equipment to suit a “medium” scale of production. Bigger than home-scale, but smaller than industrial-scale. This document—written and compiled by Rebecca Ivanoff in 2017—provides links to seed production equipment sources, from harvesting through to storage and seed testing. Please note this document is available only in English. Because it’s primarily a reference document with links to other parties’ websites, translation would have proved exceptionally difficult.
The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security has completed its first phase. We want to share what has been achieved so far, and how we are planning for the future. Our team has prepared a short Community Update to inform and thank the seed growers, farmers, seed collections, farming organizations, and advocates we work with.
Seed producers, organic growers and groups like The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security who are committed to advancing organic and ecological seed production in Canada face a severe lack of information on the market for this seed. In 2013, we embarked on a project with the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) to assess the market for organic vegetable and field crop seed in Canada. This groundbreaking study was completed in 2014. It highlights current and potential markets, provides crop- and region-specific information for stakeholders interested in expanding the market, takes a detailed look at derogation requests for organic seed, and makes recommendations to grow and track the market on an ongoing basis.
The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security is a field-based program, not a policy program. This said, our work takes place in a tightly regulated sector. Supporting seed savers and farmers requires an understanding of the legal frameworks governing seed. In 2013, we explored Canadian seed regulations and their impact on biodiversity, ecological agriculture, and public access to seed. We looked at four key frameworks:
- The Seeds Act
- Organic Products Regulations
- Intellectual Property Regulations
- The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
- This document summarizes the main provisions of the regulations, highlighting their impact on the areas of interest of our program.
The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security was officially launched February 1, 2013. However, our team was hard at work throughout 2012 doing research to inform how this ambitious program would be implemented. This "Pilot Year" involved field visits, advisory meetings, surveys, interviews and consultation of farmers, farmer associations, researchers, government officials, organic industry partners, and non-governmental organizations. The pilot year report, or “Environmental Scan”, provides an overview of the key challenges and opportunities related to expanding the production, conservation, and spread of ecologically-grown, regionally-adapted, biodiverse seed in Canada.