October 31, 2016 – The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) applauds the Government of Canada’s announcement that the historic Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has been signed. After seven years of negotiations, the CETA deal was signed at an official ceremony in Brussels by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico for Slovakia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.
“We are pleased that the agreement has been officially signed,” says CCC president Patti Miller. “A key element of CETA is the elimination of tariffs on canola oil entering the EU immediately upon implementation, which could increase our exports by up to $90 million per year.”
Canadian canola is used for biodiesel production in the EU as part of their strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Canola-based biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% compared to conventional diesel.
CETA also includes a commitment to create a biotechnology working group to address the timeliness of approvals for genetically engineered products, science-based policy and the development of a low level presence policy.
“The canola industry expects the EU to follow through on its commitments so that we can find solutions to trade uncertainty and disruption related to biotechnology,” says Miller.
The EU has also agreed to approve new biotech traits as quickly as possible – which will enable growers to have quicker access to new technology. Miller explains that industry has made significant investments in new biotechnology traits and that timely and predictable approval processes encourage more investment and growth.
“With 90% of our production exported, creating a stable and open trade environment is critically important to canola farmers and the entire value chain,” says Miller. “We appreciate the Government of Canada’s commitment to finalizing this deal and look forward to timely implementation to help grow our exports and realize the benefits across our industry and national economy.”
With the official signing complete, the complete text of the agreement can no longer be amended and can now begin the ratification process through the Canadian Parliament and the legislatures of the 28 member countries of the EU. Implementation is expected in 2017.
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.
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Heidi Dancho, Director, Communications