The federal budget carried with it some good news, but also raised some questions for the Canola Council of Canada (CCC).
The budget highlighted the importance of expanding trade and opening new markets. The CCC supports the Government of Canada’s commitment to expanding trade opportunities and market access for canola farmers and the industry.
“With over 85% of canola exported to international markets, the federal government’s commitment to trade liberalization is encouraging,” said Jim Everson, CCC vice-president, Corporate Affairs. “Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz’s continued focus on market access and promotion will allow our markets for canola seed, oil and meal to grow.”
The budget delivered yesterday by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty outlined how public expenditures will be controlled, with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) incurring significant reductions. The CCC urged the Government of Canada to provide more detail on planned expenditure reductions at AAFC.
“We hope the government can provide more clarity very soon on plans for the department and we hope it will consider the views of producers and the agriculture industry,” said Everson. “We urge the government to focus on research, market promotion and market access when considering priorities for departmental resources.”
Canola is Canada’s most valuable crop, generating over $15.4 billion in economic activity each year. It is responsible for 228,000 Canadian jobs. The CCC is a full value chain organization representing the entire canola industry, including growers, seed developers, crushers and exporters.