Canadian pulse producers now have increased market access to China for products such as pea flour and snack food, thanks to the Government of Canada’s market access work.
“China's removal of this trade barrier is another great example of ways that Canadian farmers are benefiting from the Government of Canada's partnership with industry, support for innovation and determination to resolve market access issues,” said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “It's no coincidence that under this Government, trade barriers are falling down and the bottom line for farmers is going up.”
“Chinese importers have told us that they have constrained imports of Canadian pulses for certain uses because of the existence of the selenium limit”, said Gordon Bacon, CEO of Pulse Canada. “Removal of this market access barrier is a great example of the result industry and government collaboration on a market access issue and will support industry’s efforts underway in China to expand the use of pulses in Chinese food products.”
China has removed its maximum limit for selenium in imported food, which was a major constraint to using Canadian pulses in products like pea flour and snack food. This important change stems from Minister Ritz's trade mission to China with Pulse Canada last April. At that time, China agreed to remove import restrictions on Canadian peas after joint research demonstrated that there is no health risk associated with naturally occurring selenium. Pulse Canada estimated that the agreements achieved, including but not limited to this one, between Canada and China could increase the value for pulse exports to China to $500 million.
In addition to this important achievement, the Government of Canada, through the Agricultural Flexibility Fund, will invest more than $1 million, to help Pulse Canada in the development proactive strategies to reduce market access risks. One specific initiative is the development of a technical trade issues dashboard. This dashboard is designed to provide industry and government with easily accessible information and tools to keep on top of changes to regulations in importing countries and identify market access risks before they become major issues.
The Agricultural Flexibility Fund is part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan and is helping the pulse sector overcome market access barriers, reduce risk, and improve profitability at the grower level and throughout the value-chain.
In 2010, China was Canada’s third largest market for pulses with $172 million in exports. Canadian pulse exports to China have increased from approximately 67,000 tonnes in 2002 to more than 586,000 tonnes in 2010, almost all of which is peas.
For more information on Minister Ritz's past trade mission that resulted in today's announcement, please go to: http://www.agr.gc.ca/cb/index_e.php?s1=n&s2=2010&page=n100415 <http://www.agr.gc.ca/cb/index_e.php?s1=n&s2=2010&page=n100415> .