Resolution 2005.3 Protection of Farmers’ Rights to Save Seed

October 26, 2013

Submitted by: Saskatchewan Provincial Council

Whereas, The Report of the Seed Sector Advisory Committee, prepared for the Seed Sector Review, made recommendations to change Canada’s plant breeders’ rights legislation so as to conform to the Convention of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV ’91); and

Whereas, The Seed Sector Review is a private industry-led initiative that seeks to restructure Canada ‘s plant breeders’ rights legislation toward industry control; and

Whereas, Private companies will be able to obtain rights to common seeds under UPOV ’91; and

Whereas, Changing Canada’s legislation to conform to UPOV ’91 will restrict or deny farmers’ rights to save, select, reuse, exchange and sell seeds; therefore, be it

Resolved, That the national council of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada, in 85th annual national convention assembled, urge the federal government to protect farmers’ rights to save, select, reuse, exchange and sell seeds by rejecting the recommendations in The Report of the Seed Sector Advisory Committee.

Requested Members’ Action:

• write letters to the prime minister, minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and minister of agriculture and agri-food urging them to protect farmers’ rights to save, select, reuse, exchange and sell seeds by rejecting the recommendations in The Report of the Seed Sector Advisory Committee
• send copies of your letters to your members of both federal and provincial government
• invite a guest speaker to your meeting to educate members, e.g., local agri and rural food consultants or local 4-H members
• develop with other partners a community garden and share the resources with local food banks and soup kitchens; invite ?master gardeners? to plan the garden and encourage them to offer ?in service? when the seeds are planted, tilled and harvested