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Canada claims spot on world export leaderboard but could get bumped

Canada claims spot on world export leaderboard but could get bumped

 

FCC’s principal ag economist discusses Canada’s global position and how to ensure a continued top spot

By Kate Ayers

Staff Reporter

Farms.com

Globally, Canada ranks as one of the top exporters of ag products. However, other countries are expanding their exports, meaning Canada must explore opportunities to remain competitive. 

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) recently released trade ranking reports for 2016. Canada exported US$24.6 billion worth of ag commodities, equalling 6.3 per cent of global food exports.

In 2012, Canada held the third position globally for such exports but has since fallen to fifth due to increases in exports from China and Brazil, according to Tuesday’s Mountain View Gazette article.

“I think the big message at the end of the day is we cannot be here sitting on the status quo, that we need to continue to innovate, continue to invest for this industry, to continue moving forward,” Craig Klemmer, FCC principal agriculture economist, said in the article.

“Other countries are going to catch up. Or our competitive advantages are going to erode if we just sit around doing nothing. So, we need to continue to invest in this industry.”

Also, as more immigrants come to Canada from different parts of the world, consumer markets will evolve. This change in consumer preferences offers opportunity to serve growing demands for different products, like lentils, for instance, Klemmer noted. 

Last year, “Canada exported over 5.6 million tonnes of pulses … to over 120 countries. Peas and lentils make up the largest volume of exports,” Madeleine Goodwin, manager of marketing and communications for Pulse Canada, said in an email to Farms.com yesterday.

And producers and ag-related companies must realize the importance of markets outside of the U.S., according to Klemmer.

Goodwin discussed ways in which Canada can ensure it remains a top exporter of lentils and peas in the world.

“The Canadian pulse industry is sharply focused on expanding beyond traditional markets. Interest in the nutritional, environmental and functional benefits of pulses is rising significantly among consumers, and the interest is catching the attention of food manufacturers and food service suppliers,” she said.

“New pulse product launches in China have increased more than 800 per cent since 2005 and the pulse industry believes the market represents a significant growth opportunity. Noodles, steamed buns and biscuits are some of the specific opportunities in China for Canadian pulses.”

Goodwin also said that consumers are looking for healthier food that is better for the planet.

“Pulses can provide consumers with their wants and needs in terms of protein, fibre, low carbon footprint, versatility, and many other benefits. If you look at some of the 2017 ‘food trend reports,’ many of them list protein, and specifically plant protein, as a continuing trend.”

Updated November 23, 2017

Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/lentils-food-nutrition-2790516/


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