Market access “probably the biggest issue” facing the grains industry

Cam Dahl, in conversation with Shaun Haney at Farmtech 2018. (Debra Murphy/RealAgriculture)

While much of the focus over the past several months has been on the pulse industry, with India’s tariffs on pulse crops, Canada’s cereal crop value chain has also had its hands full working on market access challenges.

Italy, with its new country-of-origin labeling legislation and campaigns spreading doubt about the quality and safety of imports from Canada, has effectively closed its border to Canadian durum wheat to be used in Italian pasta.

Italy’s not alone. There are also concerns being raised about glyphosate use in the UK, France, and other parts of Europe, with politicians facing populist pressure to impose new restrictions.

“Market access issues are probably the biggest issue facing the grains industry,” says Cam Dahl, president of Cereals Canada.

These pop-up trade barriers underline the importance of strong trade deals, such as NAFTA and the TPP, he notes.

“A free trade agreement isn’t just about removing tariffs and quotas. It’s also about putting out the structure that prevents new barriers, new non-tariff barriers from coming into place,” explains Dahl. “Under the structure of a negotiated trade agreement, those are much more difficult.”

Cam Dahl joined Shaun Haney at FarmTech in Edmonton to discuss these market access challenges, the diverse needs of Canadian wheat customers in light of a high quality 2017 crop, and where Cereals Canada is headed — watch/listen here:

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture