The Government of Canada working group on canola held its inaugural meeting on April 4, 2019 to work together to resolve the market access issue affecting Canada’s canola seed exports to China.

“Canada’s farmers can rest assured that we understand the importance and the urgency of this issue, and that we stand with them and are working hard to secure unrestricted market access for Canada’s high-quality canola," said AAFC Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. "The newly formed working group brings together the canola industry and producers to work together to resolve this issue.”

Representatives discussed the importance of focusing on a science-based solution to resolve this issue. The group also touched on future opportunities to expand into new markets for canola, and reviewed support available to affected producers.

Co-chaired by the deputy minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the president of Canola Council of Canada, the working group membership includes the president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the president the Canadian Canola Growers Association, deputy ministers from the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as well as other senior government and industry officials.

“It is imperative that we find a science-based solution to this issue and we look forward to getting a response from Chinese authorities regarding the proposed Canadian delegation," said Canola Council of Canada Jim Everson. "Resuming canola seed exports with China is the canola industry's top priority. It is essential for our farmers and their families, and for our entire agricultural industry.”

Canada is the number-one producer and exporter of canola in the world. Canadian canola has an international reputation as being of the highest quality, while its inspection system is known as being robust and world-class. As Canada’s largest crop, canola accounts for approximately $11 billion of the country’s exports each year.

In addition to creating the working group, the federal government also recently called for in-depth technical meetings with Chinese officials, proposing to send a delegation of Canadian plant health experts to China – led by the President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency – to meet face-to-face with their counterparts in order to identify a science-based solution to this issue as quickly as possible.

The working group will continue to meet regularly to closely monitor the situation and collaborate to resolve this issue.

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