The Barley Council of Canada

The Barley Council of Canada

February 27, 2015 14:19 ET

Barley Council of Canada Applauds Amendments to Plant Breeders' Rights Act

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Feb. 27, 2015) - The Barley Council of Canada (BCC) is pleased with the changes to the Plant Breeders' Rights (PBR) legislation found in Bill C-18, which recently received Royal Assent.

"The BCC sees the amended Plant Breeders' Rights Act, as outlined in Bill C-18, as an important final step in ensuring that Canada is competitive on the world stage," said BCC Chair Brian Otto.

The amendments will align PBR with the 1991 Convention of the International Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV'91). By adopting UPOV'91 and aligning with our international trading partners, this legislation will ensure that there are opportunities for increased investment and delivery of new varieties from plant breeders operating in and outside of Canada. It will also allow farmers access to new and improved varieties developed in Canada and internationally.

Canada was the last one of nine OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries to modernize its plant breeders' rights protection to be compliant with the 1991 convention.

"This legislation will attract further innovation and opportunities for plant breeders in Canada and increase opportunities for barley varietal development," Otto added. "The impact of this legislation will be felt throughout the value chain."

As part of the transition from UPOV'78 to UPOV'91, the federal government has demonstrated its desire to enshrine and protect the "farmers' privilege" provision as part of Bill C-18. This means that language has been included in section 5 (c) that will ensure Canadian farmers have the ability to keep, condition and reuse the seeds of protected plant varieties in order to replant them on their own land.

"The 'farmers' privilege' provision is important to the members of BCC and we look forward to working with the federal government to ensure that this is protected as the regulations to support this Bill are drafted," added Otto.

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