According to the Canola Council of Canada’s press release, president Patti Miller has urged the Standing Committee on Finance to “sustain the momentum of Canada’s canola industry by supporting strategic investments and policy direction in three priority areas – research, market development and market access.” Her comments are in regards to up-coming potential changes to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Growing Forward II — the next national policy framework for agriculture, agri-food and agri-products.
At issue is the federally-funded Canola Market Access Plan (CMAP), a $9 million program over five years aimed at addressing trade issues by building greater understanding and stronger relationships in key markets. So far CMAP has resulted in $1.6 billion in new and maintained canola exports, according to the CCC. The program expires in December 2013. Miller called for continued government commitment to market access initiatives under Growing Forward II.
Because about 85 per cent of Canadian canola is exported, Miller outlines the importance of being proactive and addressing trade barriers and avoiding trade issues before they happen.
Equally important, says Miller, are the two successful federally-supported programs under the original Growing Forward – a research partnership called the Canola/Flax Agri-Science Cluster, and the AgriMarketing Program. Miller points out that Science Cluster research is already providing the industry with new knowledge that will help to increase productivity, environmental stewardship and profitability.
“We’ve come so far in just a few decades, and there is so much more we can do. With the continued commitment of the federal government to our industry, we can continue to transform that market potential into jobs and wealth for Canadians,” Miller says in the press release.