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Model Operating Procedures

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This document provides guidance to the variety registration recommending committees (RCs) in the development of their crop-specific operating procedures. Each RC (also referred to as "committee" in this document) must put in place procedures and processes to ensure fair, transparent, and consistent determination of merit for Schedule III, Part I crop kinds and designs of test protocols for Parts I and II crop kinds as set out in the Seeds Regulations. It is expected that each committee will incorporate the principles and objectives described in this document into their operating procedures.

Roles of the Recommending Committees in Variety Registration in Canada

The RCs are volunteer, crop-specific committees of experts who are also part of the crop sector value chain. Their role is: to define and assess merit for Part I crops, to design the test protocols for Part I and II crops, and to make a registration recommendation to the Registrar, Variety Registration Office (VRO), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The definition of merit for a given crop kind is determined in terms of the key attributes that, together are beneficial to Canadian agriculture. The members of the committees are to apply their expertise to determine what the merit should be for their crop and how to best determine if a candidate variety has merit. In determining the best test protocols to assess merit, the committee also weighs the commercial impact of the test protocols, balancing the need for adequate data against the burden of costs and delayed time to commercialization of these varieties. The process should be as rapid as possible while meeting the minimum requirements to assess merit within a tolerable level of risk to the industry.

The committee consists of value chain stakeholders (individuals or representatives of an organization) who are experts on a particular crop, and the membership should reflect the interests of the full value chain stakeholder group for that crop kind. Above all, the variety registration recommendation system, by design, is a full spectrum crop value chain stakeholder-driven process. The committees' recommendations to the Registrar carry significant weight and are a requirement for eligibility for registration under the Seeds Regulations (Schedule III, Parts I and II crop kinds). The final decision to register new varieties, however, rests with the Registrar, VRO.

This document was generated to ensure that the following criteria for the RCs are met in accordance with the spirit and the letter of subsections 65.1 (1) to (3) of the Seeds Regulations:

Representative Recommending Committee Membership

Membership in the committee is open to all crop sector experts (crop specific variety development, production, processing, marketing and trade) upon expression of interest. The process for becoming a member is open, unbiased and predictable.

Transparency and Predictability

Facilitating Innovation in the Industry (time to market vs. regulatory burden)

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