CSTA is a national trade association that brings together more than 130 members engaged in all aspects of seed research, production, and marketing and trade, both domestically and internationally.

Who We Are

CSTA members are proud contributors to our nation’s economy and to the health and well-being of Canadian consumers. CSTA members serve the needs of their customers by developing and providing seeds produced through various production methods, including organic, conventional and biotechnology and range from small, family owned and operated companies, to large multinational firms.

Member Directed

Our association is member directed through a transparent system of policy and strategic development that is guided by an elected Board of Directors, annual and semi-annual meeting and standing committees of the membership. CSTA committees are open to all CSTA members, and much of the member direction begins as committee business.

What We Do

CSTA represents its members with stakeholders at the government and industry level. In addition, CSTA fosters the development of international markets, and works with industry and affiliated organizations in Canada and abroad to address issues in the seed industry.

CSTA member companies are building markets in many areas and the association helps these members by removing trade barriers and handling systemic market access questions. Our successes to date have included:

  • Reduction in phytosanitary and trade barriers
  • Trade arbitration services
  • Passage of the PBR Act that put Canada in compliance with UPOV 1991
  • Increased trade in licensed genetics, now worth millions of dollars
  • Improved trade of soybean varieties and identity-preserved soy shipments founded on seed genetics
  • Improving the domestic regulatory environment to facilitate trade and access to improved genetics

For an in-depth look at the Association’s work in 2018, please refer to our 2019 Year in Review.  Additional information on the seed industry, CSTA’s core values and strategic goals can also be found here.

Mission Statement: To Foster Seed Industry Innovation and Trade

Key Focus Areas:

    1. REGULATORY SYSTEM: A modernized, efficient and flexible, science based regulatory system that fosters innovation.
    2. INVESTMENT IN INNOVATION: Increased investment in seed research and innovation in Canada.
    3. TRADE AND MARKET ACCESS: Open domestic and international trade of seed.
    4. INDUSTRY IMAGE AND PUBLIC TRUST: Increased understanding of the value of seed innovations and increased public trust of the industry. A larger skilled talent pool is attracted to the seed sector.
    5. COMMUNICATION AND MEMBER SERVICES: Effective communications and responsive services delivered to members. Clear roles and greater synergy of Canadian seed organizations through the Seed Synergy Collaboration.

The core values set out below drive the work of the CSTA. We are constantly working to ensure that we adhere to these values in all aspects of our organization – from strategic planning to tactical daily work.

  • Our direction comes from our members.
  • We ensure fair and equitable recognition of members.
  • We foster an environment that encourages participation of our members.
  • We are strategic and proactive in our planning, thinking and actions.
  • We are dedicated to prioritizing and resolving the common issues that affect our members.
  • We strive for consensus in all of our decision making processes.
  • We work constructively with other groups in pursuit of our mission statement.
  • We act with transparency and integrity in our business conduct.
  • We are non-partisan.
  • We comply with the Canadian Competition Act – Find CSTA’s statement of compliance with the Canadian Competition Act by following this link.


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