The Canola Council of Canada applauds recent steps towards settling trade dispute with China

August 31, 2016 – Winnipeg – China’s Premier Li Keqiang and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have announced that Canadian canola can continue to be exported to China under the current regulatory regime while officials work to finalize a long-term solution to blackleg concerns in the days and weeks ahead.

“This is a significant step towards resolution of this long-standing issue”, said Patti Miller, President of the Canola Council of Canada. “We sincerely appreciate the Government of Canada’s efforts to achieve a science-based solution.”

Today’s announcement is a turning point that enables government officials to quickly conclude their discussions. The Canola Council has been supporting technical discussions on the ground in Beijing in recent days.

“Canadian and Chinese officials have worked diligently on finding a science-based approach to blackleg risk that will be both practical and effective,” says Ms. Miller. “With today’s announcement, we encourage both governments to rapidly conclude a science-based agreement that will provide long-term stability.”

In 2009, canola exports to China were stopped as a result of concerns over transmission of blackleg to the Chinese rapeseed crop. Exports resumed to designated ports in China with an agreement to conduct joint research to better understand the disease and how risk of transmission could be mitigated.

Over the last 6 ½ years the Canadian canola industry has invested millions of dollars in blackleg research. As a result of this investment, research has shown that reducing the incidence of blackleg in Canada will benefit both countries.

“We applaud the efforts of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay,” says Miller. “Their timely interventions mean that a science-based solution is in sight and that Canada’s most valuable export to China can continue.”

Canola seed exports to China have been the single most valuable export from Canada to China over the last five years. 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.

For more information on the Canola Council of Canada, please visit www.canolacouncil.org.

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Media may contact:
Crystal Klippenstein, Communications
204-982-7762
klippensteinc@canolacouncil.org