Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

February 07, 2012 13:25 ET

Harper Government's Agriflexibility Fund Increasing Sales of Canola in China

CHENGDU, CHINA--(Marketwire - Feb. 7, 2012) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

As part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's trade mission to China, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz was pleased to announce that Tongwei Co. Ltd., a major Chinese feed company, intends to increase its purchase of Canadian canola meal by up to $240 million annually by 2015. Tongwei believes their imports of Canadian canola could rise to $900 million over the next decade. This increased demand for canola meal was facilitated by research funded by the Harper Government's Economic Action Plan.

"Tongwei's interest in Canadian canola is a perfect example of how the Harper Government's partnership with industry and investments in research are returning more dollars to the farm gate," said Minister Ritz. "Canadian canola is second to none when it comes to quality and consistency of supply which is why our Government continues to work with industry to increase demand and improve predictability of market access for the long term."

Using funding provided through the Agricultural Flexibility Fund (AgriFlexibility), the Canola Council of Canada has been working with a number of Chinese dairy and aquaculture processing companies, including Tongwei, to demonstrate the superior quality and nutritional benefits of canola meal. As a result, Tongwei intends to increase its use of Canadian canola meal in its aquafeed and to include it in other animal feed rations. In the dairy feeding research it was observed that canola meal is cost effective, has superior nutritional value and contributes to increased milk production in dairy cattle.

In 2010, $1.8 billion worth of canola was exported to China, making it the largest market for Canadian canola. This growing trade relationship creates benefits for both countries. Increased use of Canadian canola will help Chinese farmers achieve the goal of doubling milk production by 2015 as outlined in China's 5 Year Plan. Chinese consumers will also benefit from increased access to canola oil, a "heart-smart" cooking oil.

Major increases in market demand, such as Tongwei's, illustrate why Minister Ritz remains committed to improving the long-term trade of Canadian canola. In 2009, China imposed trade restrictions on Canadian canola seed due to the presence of blackleg. Transition measures have been negotiated to allow continued exports of Canadian canola seed, but Canada remains committed to resolving the issue, ensuring predictable trade for Canadian canola exporters.

The feed research was funded through the AgriFlexibility fund, a five-year (2009-14) initiative aimed at implementing new initiatives that will help the agriculture sector adapt to pressures and improve its competitiveness by reducing production costs, improving environmental sustainability, promoting innovation and responding to market challenges.

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As part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's trade mission to China, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, Senator JoAnne Buth and the agriculture delegation toured Tongwei Co., Ltd.'s research facility in Chengdu, China today. Tongwei Co., Inc. intends to increase its purchase of Canadian canola by $240 million based on research funded by the Harper Government and conducted by the Canola Council of Canada. This research demonstrated canola's cost effectiveness and superior quality as an ingredient in fish and animal feed. The Canadian agriculture industry was represented at Tongwei by Jim Everson (Canola Council of Canada), Stephen Vandervalk (Grain Growers of Canada) and Ian White (Canadian Wheat Board).

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    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario