Seed analysts know they have an important role to play. In a way, we act as the eyes of the seed industry.
We work sorting seedlings, picking at pure seed tests, and scanning seed samples under the microscope in an attempt to describe the quality of seed lots. A report of analysis from an accredited seed analyst and laboratory gives our customers an equal playing field to import, export, grade, buy or sell seed in Canada.
We also provide tests to ensure performance in the field, greenhouse or reclamation project. We are experts in how to work with the Seeds Regulations. We also have a responsibility to Canadians in general to help prevent the introduction of invasive species that could be a threat to our industry and homeland.
We analysts often find ourselves so busy that we do not stop to look at ourselves in the larger picture. The Seed Synergy Collaboration Project that you’ve been reading about more and more has forced us to take our expert eyes and analyze how we fit with our five partner organizations.
From the beginning, CSAAC has rolled up its sleeves and worked jointly with the other organizations on the Seed Synergy project. This summer, CSAAC executive director Krista Erickson, second vice-president Brigette Moore and I had the opportunity to attend the joint Canadian Seed Growers’ Association and Canadian Seed Trade Association annual meetings in Halifax, N.S. It was very interesting listening to members of these organizations sort through what an industry-driven, next-generation seed system could look like.
It is important for us to hear the problems and challenges that face our partners and their members. After all, aren’t we seed analysts providing a service supporting all the other organizations? The success of these clients is our success, and their issues are our issues.
The work we do as seed analysts varies greatly in tests and crop kinds required across the country. Current regulations can be very cumbersome and slow to change, and do not all use them for the same end purpose. Sometimes the regulations make it difficult to introduce or sell great seed products that don’t fit the mould. We need to find a better way to provide trusted quality seed products that meet the needs of society.
The Seed Synergy vision of the future may take time and effort to find its way, but we are already finding benefits. CSAAC members have input into how the Canadian Methods and Procedures for Testing Seed rules are changed. We had some insight from the other organizations on some of our rule change proposals at the summer meetings.
This is a great opportunity for seed analysts and the seed industry to work collaboratively toward better rules and systems. CSAAC is also already finding amazing support from our co-collaborators.
Whether you are the type to love change or fear it, it is always better to feel you have a say in how it comes. Improvement is always possible. Everything really is better when we work together.