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Canada’s seed sector contributes billions to economy

The Canadian Seed Trade Association has quantified the impact of the seed industry on the nation's economy, including sales of nearly $4.0 billion, employment for more than 14,000 people and international sales of nearly $570 million.

November 20, 2008  By Canadian Seed Trade Association

November 20, 2008 

Canada’s seed sector is a key economic driver, contributing $3.95 billion in economic activity, employing over 14,000 Canadians and attracting over $569 million in international sales.A new study, commissioned by the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) examined the economic contribution of Canada’s seed sector including plant breeding and research, seed production and processing and marketing and distribution. The results of the study were released today at their semi-annual meeting in Calgary.

“Canada is a principal producer of high-quality seed,” says Jeff Reid, President of the CSTA. “This study reveals how this sector is fuelling our economy, creating jobs for knowledge workers and providing innovations to meet the challenges facing agriculture today.”


Of the 14,228 Canadians employed in 2007, more than 3000 were highly-skilled plant breeding staff including scientists, biotechnologists and technicians. In addition, a large number of these jobs are located in small regional centres and rural communities helping Canada’s rural fabric thrive.As well as investing in the domestic economy, the industry aggressively pursues export markets. With $569 million in international sales, the sector makes substantial contributions to Canada’s global export position, marketing seed products and services to numerous countries including China, Japan, India, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States.

In 2007 alone, Canada’s plant breeding and research segment contributed $361 million to the domestic economy, with the production of new varieties for sale in Canada being a primary driver.

“Continued investment in seed innovation is critical as agriculture is facing some of its greatest challenges – from climate change to food security for rapidly growing populations,” says Reid. “An environment conducive to investing in leading-edge science for both traditional plant breeding and biotechnology is essential.”



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