Jim Everson, president of the Canola Council of Canada (CCC), says the fundamental strength and importance of Canada’s canola trade with China remains, but the recent finding of “hazardous pests” that has shut down Richardson International’s exports into the country is a “difficult thing” for the entire industry.
At this point, the pests of concern have not been publicized, but Everson says the pests have been reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the agency is looking into it.
“We are very confident that all Canadian exporters are exporting high quality canola that meets the requirements of our import markets and that includes China,” Everson says.
But what happens next?
In a financial post article, Richardsons is saying this is retaliation to Canada’s stance on Huawei’s CEO Meng Wanzhou. While any interrupted trade is a concern for the canola industry, Richardsons is no longer a member of the Canola Council… are they on their own, here?
Everson says the canola industry is working with exporters and the government of Canada on these issues, regardless. “We have a really important relationship with China, as you know they’re really a significant market for us and we hope to be able to continue to build a predictable market with them,” he says.
The fundamentals with trade are very strong, Everson says. “We’ve been setting production records over the last few years … Canada has a supply of high quality canola for the world … In China there’s an increase demand for our product and we’ve seen that over the years in both seed, oil and meal. So I don’t think fundamentals around trade are different,” he says.
“(However) we have a set of circumstance currently that have come up and China is making reference to some pests of concern, we don’t believe that those are really a concern in our trade, but we would certainly work closely with our regulator and our government to resolve that concern with China.”
Hear the entire interview with RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney and CCC’s president, Jim Everson, below.