Canadian Canola Growers Association media release
Winnipeg, Manitoba – June 26, 2015 For Canadian canola farmers, Canada’s involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is serious business. The negotiations between 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region could open new markets for canola, especially for valued-added products such as oil and meal, while maintaining our ability to compete on equal footing with rival canola-producing nations like Australia. A TPP agreement that includes Canadian canola is a step forward; without, a dangerous slide in the opposite direction.
“Canola’s success depends on export markets,” says Brett Halstead, President of Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA). “Ninety percent of canola grown in Canada is exported as seed or first processed here and then exported as oil and meal.” Many of the markets that purchase Canadian canola have established trade barriers that especially impact Canada’s ability to export canola oil and meal.
The TPP offers an opportunity to lower or eliminate such barriers including tariffs on Canadian canola oil going into Japan or meal into Vietnam. “If tariffs on canola oil and meal were eliminated completely across the TPP region, exports could grow by $780 million per year, the equivalent of one million tonnes of additional oil and meal exports,” says Rick White, CEO of CCGA.
“A TPP agreement for Canada could put canola farmers on equal footing with our competitors in key Asia-Pacific markets,” says White. Australia already enjoys lower Japanese tariffs on canola oil thanks to an existing agreement between the two countries. “Japan is one of Canada’s longest-standing customers for canola, but Australia’s agreement threatens our position,” says White. “TPP could help fix this imbalance.”
“TPP is critically important to farmers,” says Halstead. “It’s more domestic delivery options for canola farmers; it’s more jobs in rural communities; it’s expanded crushing and processing here at home; and most importantly, it’s Canadian canola remaining competitive on a world stage.” Canola contributes $19.3 billion to Canada’s economy every year. Treaties like TPP will only serve to grow this number.
For canola farmers, a strong TPP agreement that includes Canada is critical. If a TPP deal is not achieved or does not include Canada, we will forgo this opportunity to catch up and may instead fall behind, while competitors build on the advantages they already have or negotiate within the TPP. Anything less than a deal could result in lost market opportunities for over 43,000 canola farmers.
CCGA represents more than 43,000 canola farmers on national and international issues, policies and programs that impact farm profitability.
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The Alberta Canola Producers Commission is a farmer directed organization representing Alberta’s 14,000 canola growers and is a member of the Canadian Canola Growers Association.