Top Crop Manager

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Canadian seed industry: movement of seed essential during COVID-19 pandemic

March 24, 2020  By Top Crop Manager

The Canadian seed industry issued a joint statement earlier today regarding the availability of seed during the COVID-19 pandemic business shutdowns or reductions happening across the country.

Seed industry partners, including the Canadian Plant Technology Agency, the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada, the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association, the Canadian Seed Institute, CropLife Canada, and the Canadian Seed Trade Association, state that they recognize the importance of preventing the spread of the virus and protecting the health of their customers, employees, and the general public.

Here is the seed industry’s statement regarding the essential nature of seed availability and the agricultural supply chain:

Seed is the starting point of the food system. Farmers everywhere depend on access to quality seed in order to grow healthy crops. With planting season coming soon, it is a crucial time of year for agriculture, and the seed industry is committed to providing quality seed to farmers when they need it.

There is no doubt that the seed industry provides essential services to ensure the security and stability of the agriculture supply chain.

Here are some ways that our industry is ensuring that seed can be safely sold and delivered to customers:

  • Scheduling seed deliveries and pickups in advance.
  • Limiting face-to-face contact during sales and serving customers individually.
  • Reducing transmission among staff by emphasizing hygiene and encouraging work-from-home measures where possible.
  • Cross-training personnel to perform essential functions so that the workplace can operate even if key staff members are absent.
  • Enforcing social and physical distancing measures among staff and customers.

Seed is a globally traded agricultural product, and the unrestricted national and international movement of seed and related inputs is critical to ensure food security in this time of uncertainty. We support the recently announced measures by the Canadian government to exempt commercial travel from the Canada-U.S. border closure. We want to emphasize the vital role that truckers play in delivering seed to farmers, and the importance of ensuring their health and safety.

On behalf of our members representing the seed industry, we want to let Canadians know that our industry is committed to providing quality seed to farmers as the first step in the agricultural supply chain.


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