Harper Government Secures Additional Capacity for Export of Canola to China

Ottawa, Ontario, April 16, 2013 - Canadian canola producers and exporters will have expanded access to the lucrative Chinese market, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced today. China has approved an additional oilseed crushing facility to begin accepting exports of Canadian canola seed. This new expansion will increase opportunities for sales in a market that bought over $1.9 billion of canola seed to the Canadian economy in 2012.

"Today's announcement is a result of continued collaboration and an important step to further expand canola exports to China," said Minister Ritz. "Our government's top priority remains the economy, and by resolving market issues in countries like China, we are helping to increase Canadian exports and deliver real results for Canadian farmers."

"Making it easier for Canadian businesses to increase their exports to high-growth markets like China is part of our government's plan to create jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for workers and businesses," said Minister Fast, who is currently in China promoting Canadian trade and investment interests. "As Canada's second-largest trading partner and second-largest export market, we will continue to expand our relationship with China in a way that produces clear benefits for both sides."

Since 2009, exports of Canadian canola seed to China have been impacted by import restrictions related to blackleg. Canada and the Canadian canola industry have been working continuously with China to better understand the science and the efficacy of new risk mitigation measures that could be implemented to manage blackleg risks and in turn reduce impacts on trade.

As a result of this cooperation, China has agreed to grant Canadian canola producers and exporters additional access to an oilseed crushing facility in Nantong, in the Jiangsu Province. Access has been granted to this 600,000 metric tonnes per year facility on a trial-basis while governments and industry continue to work toward finding long-term solutions. This expansion is significant because for the first time since 2009, Canadian canola exporters and producers can sell to Jiangsu Province.

"We welcome China's decision to further open access for Canadian canola seed", said Canola Council of Canada president Patti Miller." This underscores the value of science in resolving technical trade issues, and the importance of close industry - government collaboration in building and maintaining market access."

In December 2012, the total number of eligible crushing facilities for Canadian canola in China was ten with an annual crushing capacity of 5 million metric tonnes. Canada is committed to working with China on an ongoing strategy to achieve a stable trading environment for Canadian canola. Overall Canadian exports of canola and canola products was valued at over 3 billion dollars in 2012.

Today's announcement is another example of what is being accomplished to enhance competitiveness and long-term growth in Canadian agriculture—priorities under the Growing Forward 2 policy framework. In addition to multi-year funding for risk management programs, Growing Forward 2 includes $3 billion in strategic initiatives for innovation, competitiveness, and market development.

For more information, media may contact:

Media Relations Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade

Jeff English Press Secretary
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

Rudy Husny Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-7332
rudy.husny@international.gc.ca

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