Market Access

To ensure the success story of Canadian canola continues, the Canola Council of Canada is working to resolve access issues in key markets around the world. Ensuring stable and open access to these markets means more returns and growth potential for everyone in the canola value chain.

Why does market access matter?

Canada exports more than 90 per cent of its canola as seed, oil or meal to over 50 markets throughout the world.

By lowering tariffs on Canadian canola, we help keep it attractive to global buyers and bring more profits to the value chain.

Championing science-based policies around the world ensures new technologies get into the hands of Canadian farmers.

Internationally recognized science-based rules ensure predictability for exporters, processors and farmers.

Four main trends impacting market access:

Growing complexity. Recent geopolitical forces have challenged free trade and in some cases have led to more protectionist policies that impact agriculture trade. Similarly, increasingly complex import requirements related to plant, animal and environmental health are creating more market access challenges.

Access to innovation and technology. As innovation in production practices, plant breeding and crop protection continues at a rapid speed in the canola industry, government regulations are struggling to keep pace. Barriers to investing in and accessing new innovation and technology impact the entire value chain. Diverging regulatory frameworks in key markets also present market access challenges.

Sustainability and biofuel standards will continue to have significant influence on international markets for canola. While Canadian canola is a global leader in sustainable production, biofuel markets have specific and evolving requirements which can limit market access if Canada’s sustainable production practices are not recognized.  

Canadian regulations impact the complexity of international market access. As canola is a “made-in-Canada” crop and Canada dominates the supply across the globe, domestic regulations can impact how canola is treated internationally because of regulatory misalignment with export markets or through decreased competitiveness of the sector.

Our action plan:

The canola industry is committed to meeting the global market demand of 26 million tonnes of canola by the year 2025. Ensuring stable and open global trade requires targeted strategies centered around four distinct market access pillars.  

Eliminate tariffs

By eliminating tariffs and tariff differentials, we can expand our markets and create more stability for Canadian canola exports worldwide.

  • Example: Competitive access through trade agreements. There remains 40 per cent of the world’s economy where Canada does not have a free trade agreement, and in many of these countries canola faces tariffs. This includes markets like Colombia where Canadian canola oil is at a disadvantage compared to competing oils of other origins.

Science-based sanitary and phytosanitary rules 

Overly restrictive or non-scientifically justified plant, animal and environmental health measures can create unnecessary barriers to Canadian canola exports. By advocating for science-based sanitary and phytosanitary rules, we can help create a more stable, open and predictable trading environment. 

  • Example: product standards. More and more countries are adopting food and feed safety standards like maximum limits for the presence of naturally occurring substances in canola seeds and oil. We’re working to ensure these limits remain internationally aligned and science-based.

Access to innovation and technology 

Our goal is to continue to enable technology advancements, so Canada’s canola industry can keep evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of the global marketplace. 

  • Example: gene-editing. New canola varieties developed using gene-editing or other new breeding techniques are expected to be commercialized in the next two to three years. Yet the international regulatory landscape for these new innovative varieties remains uneven and unclear. We want to make sure that the global marketplace adopts gene-editing regulations that are science-based and predictable.  

Sustainability approvals 

By ensuring sustainability standards are applied fairly, we can enable market growth, increase value and diversify trade.

  • Example: the European Union. Canadian canola production differs in important ways from EU production. Our priority is to ensure that the substance and implementation of EU biofuel policy accurately reflects growers’ sustainable practices.

Where market access matters most:

European Union

Annual export value (2020)
$1.4 billion CAD

China

Annual export value (2020)
$3.1 billion CAD

Japan

Annual export value (2020)
$1.3 Billion CAD

United States

Annual export value (2020)
$3.7 billion CAD

Mexico

Annual export value (2020)
$797 million CAD

Learn more about our top markets.

Working together to reach our market access goals

Our market access approach relies on a clear organization of responsibilities, cooperation and a common commitment from both industry and government:

Read the full report

To learn more about the canola industry’s market access strategy, including trends driving canola market dynamics and an overview of the Canola Council’s actions to pursue market access, read our full Canola Market Access Plan.


To learn more, read our full Canola Market Access Plan (PDF).