Officials from Soy Canada were among those in China over the past ten days as part of a trade mission led by Federal Ag Minister Lawrence MacAulay.

“What we’ve heard is that Canada is reliable and maintains a very positive reputation for supplying high quality soybeans to China,” said vice-Chair of Soy Canada Ernie Sirski.  “Chinese importers and manufactures have expressed a profound interest in importing Canadian soybeans to help meet this year’s demand of over 95 million tonnes.”

During the trade mission, Soy Canada promoted Canadian soybeans at the annual food and hospitality show in Shanghai. The group also participated in Export Cafés in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing. In addition, meetings were held with the Guangdong Imported Food Association and China’s largest retail outlet Resources Vanguard/Ole Supermarket.

“Our discussions with these key stakeholders involved exploring ways to overcome market access barriers, including the removal of China’s zero-tolerance policy for the import of food-grade soybeans and expediting the country’s biotechnology approval processes to ensure Canadian growers have quick access to the latest crop technology,” said Jim Millington, Soy Canada’s Director of Market Development.  “These obstacles reinforce the need for the Government of Canada to quickly pursue a free trade agreement between our countries in order to provide a formal framework for addressing these issues.”

China is the largest export market for the Canadian soybean sector.  In 2016, approximately 1.8 million tonnes, or 37 percent, of Canada’s food-grade and commodity soybean exports were shipped to the region at an export value of nearly $1 billion.