The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) is feeling pleased as it prepares to return to Canada following a trade mission to China.
“We feel we’ve had a very successful week of promoting canola in China. As you know it’s a very important market, it’s a growing market for canola,” said Jim Everson, president of CCC, over a conference call from China on Nov. 20.
The group took part in a Canadian trade mission led by Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay. CCC hosted several events while there, including a canola dialogue in Beijing Monday. The dialogue was capped off with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Canola Council of Canada and China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (CFNA).
The MOU is a co-operative arrangement to share information between the two organizations. As well Everson said there will be co-operation on future events held in the two countries by the organizations.
“The CFNA will undertake to assist us in reaching out to different officials in the Government of China and different industry people,” he said.
However the MOU didn’t include any commitments with respect to canola volumes or guarantees in regards to trade.
China is one of the largest markets for Canadian canola. In 2016, C$2.7 billion worth of canola was exported to China, according to CCC. China imported 4.8 million tonnes of Canadian canola in 2016, including 3.5 million tonnes of seed, 600 thousand tonnes of oil and 660 thousand tonnes of meal.
Last week CCC hosted two other events in Guangzhou – a canola meal seminar and canola oil media event.
The canola meal seminar focused on research about how canola meal-fed pigs grow as well as soybean meal-fed pigs.
“(Chinese feed millers were) able to go away from this seminar with an understanding of inclusion levels of up to 30 per cent canola meal, which is at least double what they are presently putting into (swine rations),” said Bruce Jowett, vice-president of market development with CCC, over the conference call.
The canola oil event was designed to teach the Chinese media about the reported nutritional and health benefits of canola oil. Speakers were able to tell the media about the role canola oil can have to help in regards to cardiovascular disease (which is a leading cause of death in China), and diabetes (which 20 per cent of the Chinese population has).
“So connecting the challenges that they have with a product such as canola oil and how it can benefit the Chinese population,” Jowett said.
Other trade issues such as the ongoing blackleg issues were talked about briefly as well during the trip.
“The subject came up. But really only in terms of going over again or repeating the commitment that we have each made from the Chinese side and the Canadian side to taking efforts jointly to mitigate against any kind of concerns with blackleg being transferred from Canada to China,” Everson said.