Council welcomes signing of Research Memorandum of Understanding

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Canola Council of Canada today welcomed the signing of an important Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on joint canola research between Canada and China. The signing was witnessed by Prime Minister Harper and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, in Beijing on the occasion of Prime Minister Harper’s mission to China.

"We are very pleased with the strong support of the Prime Minister, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Canadian government officials in responding to China’s concerns and taking immediate action to re-open this important market", said Jim Everson, Vice President of the Canola Council of Canada. "Today’s signing, at the very highest level of both governments, underscores Canada’s commitment to serving the Chinese market."

China is a valuable market for Canadian canola and canola products with exports of $1.8 billion in 2010. In 2009, canola seed exports to China were restricted due to China’s concerns with a disease called blackleg potentially being transferred from Canada to its domestic rapeseed crop. The Government of Canada’s Market Access Secretariat and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) were successful in negotiating a transitional agreement allowing temporary and restricted access for canola while the Canadian canola industry and the two governments develop a permanent solution. Today’s MOU facilitates a joint research program, Canadian funded and coordinated by the Canola Council of Canada, which will provide additional science on blackleg and potential methods to mitigate against its transfer.

"The canola industry needs a predictable, stable trading environment," said Everson. "The Council's objective is to advance this research for review by China later this year."

The Canola Council of Canada is participating this week in Minister Gerry Ritz’s agriculture focused mission and the Prime Minister’s trade mission aimed at deepening economic ties with China. "We strongly endorse the efforts being made in China this week by Prime Minister Harper and Minister Ritz in opening and securing market access for canola and other Canadian agriculture commodities", said Everson. "Canola contributes $15.4 billion annually to Canada’s economy. Promoting canola exports through trade missions in major markets creates jobs and economic growth in Canada."

The CCC is a full value chain organization representing the entire canola industry, including growers, seed developers, crushers and exporters.

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For further comment from Jim Everson, please contact:

Crystal Klippenstein, Communications Coordinator
Canola Council of Canada