It’s an online world, there’s no doubt about it. Most of us wouldn’t be able to do our jobs it if wasn’t for the internet. Digital technology has taken over virtually every aspect of our lives, which is a wonderful, albeit sometimes daunting, reality.
At the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada (CSAAC), we recognize how virtually everyone working in the seed sector goes online every single day to access the information they need. It’s why we’re keeping up with the times by making a small yet significant change to our website, seedanalysts.ca.
Our members are required to obtain a minimum amount of Continuing Education points every year in order to keep their membership status and be considered in good standing. They are given the privilege of using the CSAAC seal on their Reports of Analysis.
This seal represents CSAAC’s commitment to the seed industry and it ensures that the analyst signing your report is in good standing and has fulfilled their Continuing Education requirements. These include attendance at CSAAC workshops and meetings that always include hands-on seed testing refresher training and important seed testing updates and changes.
You can now check that the analysts signing your reports are in good standing by going to our website and checking our membership directory. All CSAAC senior and associate members in good standing now have their seal number listed with their contact information.
It’s a small but important sign that CSAAC is adapting to a changing industry that is increasingly taking it upon itself to respond to consumer demands for transparency. According to new research from the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI), while consumer confidence is increasing, 43 per cent of Canadians say they aren’t sure if the food system is on the right track, down from 50 per cent in 2016.
Those polled are personally concerned and want more information about specific topics, including food safety, the environment and farm animal treatment. Consumers are looking for information on food company websites such as third party audits, track record, practices and policies that demonstrate their values. When studying these elements of transparency, accuracy rose to the top as the most important attribute to Canadians, according to CCFI.
While most consumers don’t give much thought to seed testing and the important role it plays in the value chain, ensuring we give the public as much information as possible about CSAAC and the qualifications of its members is key to doing our part to help the value chain respond more effectively to consumers concerns for the benefit of everyone.
Our website also hosts a lot of other great information pertaining to seed testing. We have all updates and testing documents/procedures from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency there. Under the Membership tab you can also find our board of directors and our committees and their members. CSAAC has many different committees and some are joint with the Seed Science and Technology unit of CFIA. One of the committees that we are very proud of is the M & P Committee. With this committee we review and provide input on amendment proposals to the Methods and Procedures for Testing Seed.
If you have an amendment that you would like to submit but feel that you need some help writing it, you can reach out to us and we can find someone to assist you. If you feel that the proposal may need more research you can reach out to our Research and Referee Committee and we can see if we can conduct a multi-laboratory referee project.
CSAAC has always been the core of quality assurance in seed testing and we are proud of our association, our members and our members’ clients. We know that these clients are the backbone of our industry and we enjoy working closely with all of them as well as with the other Canadian seed industry organizations.