Alberta Barley

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Jan 9

Value Creation Information

Posted on Jan 9 By: Victoria Decker

Value Creation Information and Alberta Barley’s Position

Value creation discussions have been on-gong for over a decade, as a result of noticeable decreases in cereal crop acreage at the expense of other crops such as soy and canola. The following timeline highlights the milestones in this conversation since 2008. This topic has recently come back into the forefront within Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s current mandate to increase the return on investment for variety development and genetic improvements. Through a process of engagement with the Canada Grains Roundtable, a number of models were investigated and presented to AAFC. In late 2018, AAFC conducted a series of consultations on two royalty collection models. Farmers had the opportunity to express their concerns and AWC and Alberta Barley listened carefully.

The Alberta Wheat Commission and Alberta Barley believe there is a need to maintain, sustain and grow research; however, we are advising AAFC that the consultations to date have not been sufficient and that there is the need for additional consultation with a focus on engaging producers with a new value proposition. We advise AAFC to take the necessary time and due diligence to be sure that any model is in the best interest of our producers. Further, we support the need to explore other options that have been brought forward through the consultation process. At no time have the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions supported or approved the two options being consulted on and we feel that producers were not sufficiently engaged in deciding upon these options. Further we are seeking an economic analysis of these two options (and any other options that may be viable) prior to further consultations on this process.

AWC and Alberta Barley have prepared the following information for our producers. In addition, we welcome any questions and feedback and concerns be directed to Further, we encourage producers to attend the Alberta Seed Growers Association meeting on January 31st from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. at FarmTech. A more in-depth summary of this file can be found here. 


(Calgary, Alberta) January 14, 2019 – Western Canadian cereal commissions including the barley, oat and wheat commissions from Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are calling for major changes in the Government of Canada’s current consultation process on value creation. In a letter to federal agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay, the commissions say the likelihood of an industry wide agreement on either of the proposed models is low and are asking for more consultation including consideration of other options. Further consultations must focus on engaging producers with a new value proposition. Click here to read the letter.  | Click here to read the full press release. 

Value Creation Timeline

June 2008

Canada Grain’s Council releases “Creating an Environment for the Successful Commercialization of Canadian Crop Innovation” which makes 26 recommendations to reverse a downward trend in cereals acreage through research and innovation.

February 2009

Grains Innovation Roundtable created to respond to recommendations from “Creating an Environment for the Successful Commercialization of Canadian Crop Innovation”.

November 2010

Crop Research Funding Working Group outcomes report released which proposes a crop research funding model which includes a delivery-based research check-off, with a research levy of 1% of cash receipts and a variety-based end point royalty, and an entity to collection.

August 2012

Alberta Wheat Commission is formed and begins to collect a levy, a portion of which is directed to genetic and agronomic research and extension.


AAFC signals an exit from variety finishing. The vast majority of varieties grown are owned by AAFC.


Producers commission a study with Garven and Associates on producer involvement in variety finishing and funding mechanisms. Click here to read the Garven Report. 


Funding Innovation – A Technology Value System – Canadian Seed trade Association-led process on royalty systems begins to investigate royalty mechanisms globally and the potential for implementation in Canada.

June 2014

Alberta Barley holds “The Farmer Model” event which brings together various proposed models for funding innovation in variety development. Presentations were made by proponents of various farmer models, including Ken Nelson, David Rourke and Ryan Mercer (Garven and Associates model) as well as on the Canadian Seed Trade Association “Funding Innovation- A Technology Value System” findings. The event saw general consensus on the need to increase funding towards innovation in this sector and a strong desire for producers to control the direction of that innovation. Click here to read the Farmer Model report. 

Fall 2014

Producer working group facilitated by Western Grains Research Foundation forms to investigate options for producer involvement in wheat and barley variety development. Click here to read the JRG Report. Click here to read the Wheat Barley Breeding Report. 


UPOV 91 is ratified in Canada (Bill C-18) which adds distinct wording allowing for the collection of royalties, as well as the inclusion of the “Farmer’s Privilege” which grants farmers the right to save seed for their own use, to the Plant Breeders Rights Act. Read more about this here. 


Canadian Wheat Research Coalition is formed by Alberta Wheat Commission, Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission and Manitoba Wheat and Barley Grower’s Association with the intention of taking a coordinated approach to funding variety development and assuming responsibility of the public institution core breeding agreements currently funded by Western Grains Research Foundation.


The Value Creation Working Group is formed by the Grains Roundtable to develop potential models to increase funding for variety development for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Fall 2017

Seed Synergy groups release “Green Paper on The Next Generation Seed System”. The report presented a “seed system of the future [which] will enable innovative and practical solutions in the area of value creation, creating a viable and robust economic model that will put seed innovation in Canada on a sustainable competitive footing, and allow a range of business both large and small to compete”. Click here to read the Synergy Green Paper. 

Fall 2018

Canadian Seed Trade Association voices support of a trailing royalty system enabled by “Seed Variety Use Agreements”. Read more by visiting | Click here to review the JRG Group Analysis. 

Fall 2018/Winter 2019

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada-led consultations on models developed by the Value Creation Working Group begin. Click here to view the Value Creation Working Group presenation to the consultation meetings. 

January 30, 2019
The following board motion was passed at the Alberta Wheat Commission’s annual general meeting in Edmonton, Alberta during FarmTech:

Whereas, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are conducting consultations on two potential models that would change the way royalties are applied to seed in cereal crops; and
Whereas, the Government of Canada has failed to produce an economic and legal analysis to enable producers to make an informed judgement on either of the two models; and
Whereas, there has been insufficient consultation and a failure to demonstrate the value of the proposed models to producers; and
Whereas, the Alberta Wheat Commission is a major funder of variety development through the wheat check-off and recognizes the importance of investments in research to maintain the global competitiveness of Alberta wheat producers;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Alberta Wheat Commission will only support a change in the royalty system that can demonstrate a clear financial benefit to Alberta Wheat producers.

How you can get involved and provide feedback:


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