Canola is a triumph of Canadian innovation:
- Grown sustainably, with environmental goals that reduce greenhouse gases, preserve soil and water health, improve air quality, and maintain biodiversity;
- Largest source of farm cash receipts in 2018;
- Supports 250,000 jobs across the country;
- International exports valued at $11 billion in 2018.
Serious disruptions to canola trade are impacting our farms, affecting regional economies and creating a negative ripple effect nationally. Urgent efforts by the industry and Canada’s governments are needed to restore stability and prosperity.
Canadian Canola Growers Association has identified four key priorities for canola’s continued success. During this federal election, we encourage everyone who shares these concerns to stand with farmers and call on all parties to commit to taking action on these priorities.
Regain access to China and grow global export markets
We need immediate action to deploy all available means to regain access to China. Appointing a new Ambassador and launching a consultation at the WTO are a great start but we have much more to do.
We also need to improve our access to other markets and build stable, long-term demand for canola. Opening a grains and oilseeds export diversification office focused on promising growth markets in Asia would increase our ability to access new and growing markets.
Increase renewable fuel content from canola
We need to grow markets at home as well as abroad. Biofuels are an important end-use for canola. Increasing the renewable content in diesel would be a great diversification opportunity at home, with wins for the environment and economic activity. Benefits include:
- A decreased environmental footprint from heavy-duty diesel vehicles with immediate greenhouse gas reductions at a low cost;
- A more diversified market for canola farmers by creating new domestic demand for crops;
- A clear signal for industry to increase investment and create jobs in Canada’s processing sector.
Support canola producers through uncertainty and falling revenues
Immediate attention is needed to fix the fundamental problems with current programs that farmers use to manage risk.
- Restore the key farm program, AgriStability, to its previous design and funding level.
- Prioritize discussions on production insurance improvements to cover program gaps.
- Immediately begin meaningful discussions on farm programs, with a focus on effectiveness.
- Establish an industry-government technical working group that allows farm groups to actively engage in analysis of programs to ensure that they work for all participants.
Improve the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)
To maintain our competitiveness, farmers need timely access to pest management products that are safe for them, for others, and for the environment. It is crucial that the PMRA be reformed to make robust, science-based decisions that lead to the safe and sustainable use of crop protection products in Canada.
The PMRA needs a mandate and resources to support agricultural competitiveness, such as aligning the PMRA’s regulatory approach with that of the United States. PMRA must consider both the risks and the benefits of products under review. Environmental benefits from targeted products, like seed treatments, help protect the ecosystem and should be considered in PMRA’s risk evaluation process.
Thanks to the Canadian Canola Growers Association for generously sharing this content.
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