Facilitating Choice Through Coexistence


The Board of Directors of the Canadian Seed Trade Association has placed a very high priority on the development of broad coexistence plans for organic, conventional and GM production systems in Canadian crops .   CSTA’s objective  is, given the very fast pace of technology,  CSTA’s member companies and the farmers that they serve can choose the production system that best suits their businesses and the markets from which they benefit,  whether the production system is  organic, conventional or makes use of the products of modern biotechnology.

Definition of Coexistence – CSTA defines a coexistence plan as: “A framework that guides the implementation of  stewardship and best management practices to be employed  in order for three production systems (organic, conventional and GM) to successfully coexist.”

Principles of Coexistence – Find the principles of coexistence supported by the CSTA here.  These are the principles that have been and will continue to be presented to and discussed with value chain participants in all of CSTA’s efforts to facilitate coexistence.

Coexistence for alfalfa hay in Eastern Canada – Given the status of the technology, CSTA’s Board chose to begin the coexistence project with alfalfa hay in Eastern Canada.  The alfalfa hay coexistence project began with a value chain workshop held in Kitchner, Ontario in October 2012.

  • Find the complete proceedings of the workshop  here.
  • Find the coexistence plan framework developed using the results of the workshop here

Information relevant to the coexistence planning process for alfalfa hay in Eastern Canada

Planning for Choice – A Coexistence Plan for Alfalfa Hay in Eastern Canada/La Planification du Choix – un plan de coexistence pour le foin de luzerne dans l’est du Canada – After almost a year of hard work by a number of participants in the value chain, along with academics and forage specialists, the coexistence plan for alfalfa hay in Eastern Canada is now complete.  Click on the images below for a .pdf of the plan.  Beside each image is a separate .pdf of a checklist that could be used to help employ voluntary best management practises.

Note: while CSTA facilitated this coexistence planning process, CSTA does not “own” the plan.  It is the produce of a value chain process and has been developed by a number of value chain participants.  It is acknowleded that there are very strongly held views on both sides of the debate on genetically modified alfalfa.  This plan does not advocate for or against the commercilization of GM alfalfa. Nor does it favour one production system over another.  This plan strives to anticipate the future.  Its purpose is to identify possible practises that could allow all hay production systems to be successful in Eastern Canada.   Please ensure that you read and understand the disclaimer at the beginning of the plan.



Planning for Choice EnglishBest Management Practises Checklist







Planning for Choice FrenchListe de vérification des meilleures pratiques de gestion