Representing canola farmers at the Canola Working GroupJune 4, 2019Hub ArticleRegaining access to the Chinese market is the top priority for the Canola Working Group. Canola farmers are directly represented at the Canola Working Group conversation by Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA). “The Canola Working Group, co-chaired by Canola Council of Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, meets weekly,” says Rick White, Chief Executive Officer at CCGA. “While we continue to look at means for reopening the Chinese market to Canadian canola seed as our number one priority, there are many other important issues being discussed that farmers should be aware of.”Opportunities to expand canola marketsMarket diversification continues to be an important discussion, both for export and domestic markets. Domestically, CCGA continues to encourage the expansion of the federal renewable fuel mandate from its current standard of 2% to a higher level of 5%. This small change would consume 1.3 million tonnes of canola per year and reduce GHGs by 3.5 MT per year, at a comparable cost to conventional diesel. Increasing the renewable fuel content in Canada’s transportation fuels is good for the economy, good for the environment and good for farmers.“On the export diversification front, we continue to look for new market diversification opportunities," says White. “CCGA will be participating in a Ministerial trade mission to Japan and South Korea in June to explore new opportunities arising from implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement that came into effect at the end of 2018.”Support for farmersCCGA continues to raise issues with the Working Group that are affecting farmers today and into the future. “Having access to the new limits under the Advance Payments Program is very important for many farmers,” says White. “We continue to stress the urgency of getting these changes implemented to ease cash flow challenges on farm, and administrators are working with AAFC program staff to make this happen as soon as possible.”Through the Working Group, CCGA has asked the government to consider changes to the current BRM programs that would make those programs more responsive to the needs of farmers. We are pleased the government has announced it is examining options to use the AgriRecovery program. Potential issues arising from a lack of on-farm grain storage have also been raised by CCGA through the Working Group.As the Working Group continues to meet weekly to discuss all issues related to the China canola trade situation, CCGA will be there to stress the importance of finding solutions to the issues directly impacting farmers.