March 6, 2013

Grain Growers of Canada pleased with Canada – Japan talks

The Grain Growers of Canada are in Japan this week along with Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. A full grains delegation is accompanying the Minister on
this trade mission: the Grain Growers, the Canola Council of Canada, the Canadian Wheat Board and the Canadian Grain Commission. A significant meat delegation is also on this trade mission to Japan including Canadian Pork International, Canadian Meat Council Canada Beef Inc. and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.
“We have had a couple excellent days of meetings here in Tokyo with our key Japanese customers,” says Richard Phillips, Executive Director of the Grain Growers of Canada. “Our first meeting was with the Flour Millers Association of Japan where we had a frank dialogue about the high quality of this years’ Western Canadian wheat crop and proposed changes to the Canadian Grain Commission.”
The Federal Government is currently modernizing the Grain Commission and this is the first marketing year with both the CWB and the private trade selling wheat to Japan. “The transition at the CWB has not caused issues for them and they have been pleased with the quality of both CWB and private sector wheat deliveries,” says Phillips.

The Canadian delegation also met with the Grain Importers Association. “Overall things are going well for the importers and Minister Ritz communicated that we are also working on our rail logistics with new legislation,” says Phillips. “It is clear though that we need to get a Cereals Council or Wheat Council up and running quickly to build on the good relations we currently enjoy.”

The delegation also met with the Japanese Oilseed Processors Association, with whom the Canadian canola industry has had a forty-year relationship. “Canola has about an 80% market share in Japanese households and strong support as a healthy oil,” said Phillips. “One of the challenges the Japanese market faces though for all crops, is that the people are ageing and their population is projected to steadily decline for many years.”

The Japanese delegations commented very favourably on the fact that the Canadian Government, Minister Ritz and Canadian exporters are making it a priority to build and strengthen relations between our countries.

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