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Source: Partners in Innovation news release

Partners in Innovation is very pleased that much anticipated changes to Canada's Plant Breeders' Rights legislation as proposed in Bill C-18: the Agricultural Growth Act, passed Second Reading in the House of Commons and have been referred to the House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.

"Amended Plant Breeders' Rights legislation will enhance the ability of Canadian producers to capitalize on exciting new opportunities in Canadian and international markets," says Greg Porozni, Chair of Cereals Canada. "The amendments will foster investment and innovation in Canada by giving producers access to new, more productive crop varieties."

Partners in Innovation brings together 18 organizations representing the vast majority of farmers and accounting for most of Canada's crop production acres; including grains, oilseeds, pulse crops, vegetables and fruit, potatoes and ornamentals.

The members of Partners in Innovation support amendments to Plant Breeders' Rights legislation that puts Canada on an equal footing with most other countries in the world. This is critical to the ability of our farmers and our agricultural industry to compete in the global market and to make a contribution to the effort to feed, fuel and clothe a rapidly growing world population.

"Passage of the bill will provide a sustainable system for investment in new seed varieties. It boils down to making sure Canadian farmers are competitive and that we aren't falling behind other countries.

The legislation strikes a good balance between giving plant breeders the ability to receive a return on their investment and research efforts while preserving the ability of farmers to save, store and condition seed for their own use," says Ron Bonnett, Canadian Federation of Agriculture President.

"We are pleased that the bill is now at the point in the process where we can engage in public discussion at committee. This bill is a great step towards continued competitiveness and the agricultural sector has a big role to play in how this system plays out on the ground."

"As farms work to match production with the growing global population it becomes increasingly important that they have the tools needed to continue to increase production," says Keith Kuhl, President of the Canadian Horticultural Council. "New varieties are an important segment of this growth. Ensuring that our Plant Breeders' Rights regulations are aligned with our global trading partners is imperative."

Plant Breeders' Rights amendments proposed in Bill C-18 will give Canadian breeders intellectual property protection tools that are comparable to those used by breeders around the world; increasing the confidence of public and private sector plant breeders to invest in developing improved varieties that deliver higher yields and better agronomics, opening new markets for Canadian innovation.

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