The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security

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The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security is USC Canada’s Seeds of Survival program in Canada. Launched in 2013 in five regional hubs across the country, the program works with farmers and researchers to build a more secure and diverse "made-in-Canada" seed supply. It features training, applied research, market development and support for expanded production and improved public access to seed.

With farmers and partners, we are building a national movement to conserve and advance seed biodiversity, keep seed in the public domain and promote ecological seed production.

The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security pursues three key areas of work, primarily directed at ecological seed producers and commercial farmers.

  1. Capacity building through training and networking
  2. Farmer-led research
  3. Biodiversity conservation

Why we care so much about seed

  • Nine out of every ten bites of food consumed around the world today begin with seed. Food security is seed security.
  • Canadians rely on only four plant species – wheat, maize, rice and potato – for 60 per cent of the calories in our diet.
  • Plant breeding can have a major impact on nutrition: In the last 60 years, the average Canadian potato lost 100 per cent of its vitamin A content, 57 per cent of its vitamin C and iron, and 28 per cent of calcium.
  • 95 per cent of the seeds that grow our major food crops are bred for uniformity, performance under controlled conditions and routine application of synthetic inputs.

As Canada’s climate changes, so must our approach to food production. Broadening the range of crops and varieties we grow, and investing in the development of varieties adapted to ecological farming and Canada’s diverse growing environments will increase the resilience of our agricultural system.

This program is made possible thanks to the vision and leadership of Gretchen Bauta, a member of the Weston family. It is delivered by USC Canada, in partnership with Seeds of Diversity Canada and through the generous support of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation.

Please explore The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security's website for more information.

Read 19030 times Last modified on Tuesday, 26 September 2017 17:57
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LottaHitschmanova tbnWhat's in a Name?

We’re called USC Canada because we started out way back in 1945 as the Unitarian Service Committee, founded by the energetic Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova. We’re still planting the seeds that Lotta sowed. Find out more about our founder, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova.



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  • Phone: 1-800-565-6872

USC Canada is a Registered Canadian Charity 11927-6129-RR-0001

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