Winnipeg, MB -- Today’s announcement by Prime Minister Harper that Canada and Japan will begin negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement is welcomed news for Canada’s canola farmers. An economic partnership with Japan has the potential to formalize an established trading relationship and expand canola sales into Japan’s vegetable oil market.
“Japan is Canada’s first and longest standing customer for canola seed,” says Todd Hames, President of the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA), purchasing more than two million tonnes of Canadian canola annually. “Canola farmers are very proud of what we have achieved together with Japan over the past 20 years.”
“While our canola seed trade with Japan has a long and successful history, a formalized trading relationship will help to make Canada an even stronger and more reliable supplier of canola to Japan,” says Rick White, General Manager of CCGA.
Japan is the world’s third largest economy and vegetable oils are a mainstay of the Japanese diet, with canola oil being the number one vegetable oil consumed in the country. Canola is an export-dependent crop with 85 percent of canola output exported as seed, oil or meal.
“Canola farmers are encouraged by this important step in trade relations with Japan,” says White. “Steps taken by the Government of Canada to enhance our economic partnership are vital to expanding trade in canola and many other Canadian agri-food exports that originate on Canadian farms.”
Canola is Canada’s biggest field crop generating more farm cash receipts than any other single crop. The Canadian Canola Growers Association represents more than 43,000 canola farmers on national and international issues that impact farm profitability.
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Kelly Green, Director of Communications