Last week in Ottawa, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced that stable canola trade with China can continue until 2020. According to the agreement, canola trade can occur according to terms in place during August 2016, and measures to manage the risk of blackleg will be based on science.
“Last week’s announcement provides the stable access to China needed by the canola industry,” says Patti Miller, president of the Canola Council of Canada. “It’s welcomed news for the whole canola value chain, just as our growers bring in this year’s harvest. We’re optimistic that we can now focus on science-based solutions.”
In recent months, there has been significant uncertainty around canola seed exports to China – one of Canada’s most valuable exports to China. A proposed measure that would have hampered trade and increased costs was set to be implemented on September 1st, though was stayed during Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to Beijing when officials were directed to achieve a science-based agreement.
Both countries committed to finding science-based solutions to manage the canola disease blackleg. The Canadian canola industry will work with the Canadian and Chinese governments to manage blackleg risk according to international pest risk management standards. The agreement reflects months of cooperative work between Canada and China, and intense discussions in the recent days and weeks.
“This agreement reflects a willingness to manage risk and facilitate trade, which is a good sign for all Canadian exports,” says Miller. “Managing this plant disease is important for both Canada and China, and with this agreement we can move forward with solutions that help both countries.”
Government leadership as well as significant work by dedicated Canadian government officials has been instrumental in reaching the solution for canola.
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay have played a major role in achieving stability for canola exports,” says Miller. “Stable, science-based trade is essential for continued investment in the canola industry – investment that is crucial for growth and job creation.”
With a target market in China of more than 500 million consumers, a clear need for healthier oils and awareness of canola just taking off, there is significant opportunity to grow canola exports. China is the world’s largest oilseed importer and canola will continue to be a valued import. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang confirmed China’s interest in continued canola imports during Prime Minister Trudeau’s recent visit to Beijing.
“As long as stable market access continues, the future is very bright for expanded canola trade with China,” says Miller.
In 2015, Canada exported 3.8 million tonnes of canola seed to China, worth $2.0 billion – accounting for 40% of Canada’s canola seed exports.
The CCC is a full value chain organization representing canola growers, processors, life science companies and exporters. Keep it Coming 2025 is the strategic plan to ensure the canola industry’s continued growth, demand, stability and success – achieving 52 bushels per acre to meet global market demand of 26 million metric tonnes by the year 2025. The CCC will celebrate its 50th anniversary at the annual Canola Council Convention, March 7-9, 2017 in Winnipeg, MB.