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Canola Council Sees Big Potential in Clean Fuel Standard

The federal government’s proposed new Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) could be a boon for Canadian canola growers, potentially creating up to 2 million tonnes of additional demand.
 
In a release Tuesday, the Canola Council of Canada said modelling in the government’s proposed regulation suggests the biofuel content in every litre of diesel sold in the country could be increased to 11% by 2030, up from the current 2% national requirement. “At this level, the CFS could create a market the size of Japan for Canadian canola growers,” the release said.
 
Japan is one of Canada’s most consistent canola customers, importing roughly 2 million tonnes of seed each year. In 2019, Japan’s imports were worth C$1.1 billion.
 
Additionally, the canola council said it appears the CFS provides options for Canadian farmers’ growing practices to be accepted at a national level without any additional on-farm requirements.
 
Under the proposed CFS, Environment and Climate Change Canada would consider the absence of increased net land use for agriculture sufficient to satisfy sustainability criteria, meaning that no further compliance, audits or certification of feedstocks would be necessary. It also provides a country the ability to be approved if it is already approved under the US renewable fuel standard, as Canada has been for many years.
 
An earlier CFS proposal released this past summer did not go over well with some farm groups, which contended that it did not consider the sustainability efforts that farmers already take, and that restrictions on land use would actually discourage farmers from planting and growing biofuel crops.
 
The updated 324-page CFS proposal, which was printed last week in the latest edition of the Canadian Gazette, remains highly complex and the canola council said it will be seeking additional detail from Ottawa on the methodology for calculating carbon intensity values, which will be a key factor that drives demand for canola under the CFS.
 
“Using more canola here in Canada is a key opportunity to increase value-added processing and diversify our markets,” Everson said. “We’re focused on creating market opportunities for canola biofuel, and we’re hopeful the final CFS will provide that opportunity if Ottawa gets it right.”
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