Seed Disputes Pt 2
That's according to Washington Policy Center Ag Research Director Madilynne Clark who testified last week before Senate Ag, Water, Trade, and Economic Development Committee on behalf of a pair of bills that address the matter.
Clark recommends a two-part solution ...
MADI CLARK ... "First off, the seed companies and the growers that are involved in the dispute should have the opportunity to choose what legal recourse works best for them. They get to weigh their own benefits, their own costs, and then say you know it makes more sense for us to go to court or it makes more sense for us to go to mediation, because this is the cost, this is how long it will take."
Next, Clark says remove the burden that impacts small farmers the hardest ...
MADI CLARK ... "And then the second part, is that Washington state needs to move away from the non-binding arbitration process because it's just become symbolic. And the result is it delays the inevitable legal process. It extends costs. Smaller growers are less likely to be able to swallow that for long periods of time so it hurts them even more. So, that is my two recommendations for this non-binding arbitration process."
Clark says House Bill 1132 and, its companion, Senate Bill 5075 would remove state-imposed arbitration, reduce costs, achieve positive resolutions more quickly, and take down costly barriers.