Canadian grain, oilseed, and pulse priorities get high profile at trade talks in Lima

Ottawa, Canada (May 23, 2013) - The 17th round of negotiations for
the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) allowed Canadian agriculture to
significantly raise the profile of key priorities for farmers and the grains
and oilseed trade. The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) and the Grain Growers of
Canada (GGC) were in Lima, Peru for the last 8 days as part a Canadian industry
delegation.

“It was a great opportunity to explain to negotiators and other stakeholders why
the TPP needs to include provisions that will give all farmers better market
access,” says Richard Phillips, GGC Executive Director. “It’s important that an
ambitious TPP agreement include a strong commitment to regulatory coherence and
language for a low level presence policy reflective of today’s trade in grain.”

Phillips and Brian Innes, CCC Market Access Manager, made a formal presentation at the
stakeholder forum organized by the Peruvian government, focused on how
science-based policies related to maximum residue levels of crop protection
products and biotechnology will help improve both trade and international food
security.

Presentation is available at www.graingrowers.ca

“The reality in the world today is that biotechnology is playing a central role in
crop production, and we need strong policies that facilitate trade and avoid
unnecessary non-tariff trade barriers,” says Innes. “Establishing science-based
trade rules around biotechnology is an essential part of providing real market
access in a 21st century trade agreement.”

The Canadian agriculture presentation outlined the reality of global population
growth and food needs, and given that most of the good land is already being
farmed, there is an urgent need to increase productivity. Some new
biotechnology has reduced the need for excessive cultivation to control weeds
which use valuable water and nutrients. Other traits have greatly reduced the
need for pesticides to control damaging insects or diseases.

The presentation highlighted the need for countries to approve new traits at the
same time to facilitate trade. Currently for example, Canada, the US and
Australia could approve a new trait, which then might take several years for
registration in other countries. This has the effect of creating an artificial
trade barrier due to the possibility of very low levels of dust or co-mingling
in other grain shipments.

The same challenges exist for new crop protection products where some countries
have completed thorough testing to international standards and others may take
several years to finish. A suggestion was made that the agreement could include
language that would permit general acceptance of approvals.

In addition to the formal presentation, Phillips and Innes met with a number of
negotiators and stakeholders from across the TPP. There was a clear desire by many
agricultural stakeholders for the TPP to build upon existing WTO and bi-lateral
trade agreements so that trade can be more efficient and predictable.

The CCC is a full value chain organization representing the entire canola industry, including growers, seed developers, crushers and exporters. Canola is Canada's most valuable crop, generating over $15.4 billion in economic activity each year and is responsible for 228,000
jobs.

The Grain Growers of Canada is an umbrella organization with 14 provincial and regional grower groups from across the country involved in the grain, pulse and oilseed sectors.  Representing tens of thousands of successful wheat, durum, barley, canola, oat, corn, pea, lentil, rye and triticale farmers, the Grain Growers is well known as the national voice of Canadian grain farmers.

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For more information contact:



Richard Phillips – Executive
Director, Grain Growers of Canada   
613-233-9954



Brian Innes – Market Access Manager,
Canola Council of Canada   613-230-1990



 

 

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For more information contact:

Richard Phillips – Executive Director, Grain Growers of Canada   613-233-9954

Brian Innes – Market Access Manager, Canola Council of Canada   613-230-1990