WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — CANTERRA SEEDS and France-based Limagrain, through its listed company Vilmorin Et Cie S.A., announced on July 2 an agreement to establish a new cereal breeding and development partnership, Limagrain Cereals Research Canada, to be located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. 

Limagrain Cereals will bring significant added value to western Canadian agriculture by developing new varieties of cereals, with a specific focus on wheat, using the most advanced technologies currently available.

“CANTERRA SEEDS and Limagrain already have a history of working to bring cutting-edge cereal varieties to farmers,” said David Hansen, president and chief executive officer of CANTERRA SEEDS. “This ambitious evolution of our partnership will enhance our capacity to deliver the premium genetics farmers demand today to grow their businesses.”

This joint venture was made possible with the passing of Bill C-18, which amended the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act to make Canada compliant with the 1991 International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV ’91).

“There is no understating the importance of this deal to Canadian agriculture. Modernizing our Plant Breeders’ Rights Act has opened up a whole new world of wheat. Our farmers can now buy and grow varieties that they couldn’t access before. For us as seed marketers, this is obviously an opportunity, but the opportunities are much greater for our customers, the producers,” said Hansen.

CANTERRA SEEDS’ partner, Limagrain, is a farmer-owned cooperative. It is one of the most extensively integrated agricultural companies in Europe. In addition to being the fourth largest seed company in the world, they are a global leader in wheat and other cereal grains.

“Western Canada’s expertise in cereal breeding is globally recognized. We are proud to bring our cereal breeding expertise to Saskatoon – a hub for cereal development in Canada – and work collaboratively to breed advanced wheat genetics for farmers in Western Canada,” said Bruno Carette, CEO Limagrain Field Seeds.

Beyond this joint venture, Limagrain and CANTERRA SEEDS have strengthened their partnership to enhance the distribution of cereals in Western Canada. To that end, Limagrain has agreed to acquire a minority stake in CANTERRA SEEDS and Limagrain will have the right to appoint representatives to the board of directors of CANTERRA SEEDS.

Completion of these transactions is subject to a number of conditions including ongoing due diligence and the requirement that there be no changes to Bill C-18. It is expected that the transactions will be complete by the end of September.