Canada : A Seed Act for Farmers, Not Corporations

NFU sign on letter :  Stop Bill C-18

Dear Friends,

Canada’s government is preparing to pass a new law, Bill C-18, the Agricultural Growth Act, that would put Canadian farmers under the UPOV ’91 Plant Breeders’ Rights regime.  This new law would give global seed corporations vast new power to control seed – and to profit from it on the backs of farmers.

The National Farmers Union is working hard to stop this from happening.

You can help by signing on to the letter below in solidarity with the farmers of Canada.

To sign on, please send your organization’s name, location and contact information to Stephanie Wang, NFU International Program Committee Coordinator at

Solidarity letter

We stand with Canadian farmers in opposing measures that threaten farmers’ long-standing rights over seeds. Like family farmers around the world, Canadian farmers have a long tradition of selecting, saving and reusing their own seed as well as exchanging seeds with other farmers and buying from local seed growers. We believe that family farmers, not private institutions and corporations, can best conserve and enhance the genetic pool of plants, to feed people in an increasingly changing climate and environment while ensuring a resilient agriculture through cultivating seed diversity and adaptability.

We denounce the amendment of Canada’s Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (PBR) to conform with the UPOV ’91 Convention as proposed by the Growth Agricultural Act (Bill C-18) as it will result in a further privatization, uniformization and monopolization of seeds by PBR holder. While the latter benefit from the new right to collect royalties at various stages of the crop production, farmers will loose their historical right to seeds autonomy.

Canada has no obligation under international trade agreements or treaties to conform with UPOV’91.

We join our voice to the Canadian family farming movement and urge the Canadian government to respect and protect the rights of farmers and demand to:

  • STOP Bill C‐18 and REJECT UPOV’91.

  • Re‐establish and increase funding for public plant breeding institutions and public researchers and resume public plant breeding to the variety level.

  • Reorient Canada’s agricultural laws towards the principles of Food Sovereignty – healthy food, ecological sustainability and democratic control.

  • Adopt a new Seed Law based on the NFU’s Principles for a Farmers’ Seed Act.


Agrar Koordination, Hamburg, Germany

African Centre for Biosafety, SA

Alliance for  Food Sovereignty in Africa

Bifurcated Carrots, Netherlands

Border Agricultural workers project, US.

Center for Encounter and active Non-Violence, Austria

Community Food and Justice Coalition, US

Confédération Paysanne

European Coordination Via Campesina

Farmwokers Association of Florida, US.

Food Sovereignty Ghana, Ghana

GRAIN, Montreal

GM Free Wales


Kikandwa Environmental Association, Uganda

KPL  South Korea Peasant League, R. of Korea Seou)

Mayo Organic, Fis Nua, Ireland

National Family Farm Coalition, US

OGM dangers,  FRANCE

Organic Growers of Ireland

Puente de la Costa Sur,  San Mateo County, California

Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural,  Washington, DC

Union paysanne, Canada

Center for the Study of Rural Change in Mexico (CECCAM), Mexico


Small Scale Farmers Forum of Lesotho

Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity (TABIO)