Extensive Canadian agricultural delegation visits Chongqing
Canada’s agriculture and agri-food deputy minister led an agricultural delegation of 67 individuals to Chongqing on June 15. On the same day, as part of a broader agricultural trade mission to Southwest China, the minister, Andrea Lyon, showcased Canadian food products to Chongqing food buyers.
The event was held at the Export Café, and featured Canadian agri-food, seafood, beverages, and other agricultural commodities.
Lyon highlighted the strengths of Canada’s agriculture sector and Canada’s commitment to serving the needs of the Chinese market as a reliable partner and source.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of Canada-China diplomatic relations. The delegation included 61 representatives from 35 Canadian companies and industry associations, and five provincial governments. It was the most extensive Canadian agricultural delegation to visit Chongqing so far. The business delegates have had fruitful meetings with Chinese food buyers, and discussed possible business opportunities related to various Canadian products.
Keith Colwell, agriculture minister of Nova Scotia, said: “We’ve been dealing with Beijing and Shanghai for years, and this is the first time we’ve been here. We very much hope to build strong and long-lasting relationships with Chongqing as time moves forward, and to provide our fine exotic cold-water scallops, shrimp, lobsters, snow crab and blueberries.”
Another highlight of the event was Canada’s canola oil, which is lower in saturated fat than common cooking oils and free of trans fat and cholesterol.
“Given the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in China and consumers’ significant use of cooking oil, canola oil is the ideal choice as an everyday staple,” said Liu Na, senior nutrition expert in Beijing.
It is said that China is the number one consumer of vegetable oil in the world (31 million tonnes a year) and its number two importer (11 million tonnes a year). Canada is the primary supplier of canola to China, exporting 4.3 million tonnes of canola seed and a half million tonnes of oil in 2014.
In 2014, Canada ranked as the world’s fifth-largest agriculture and agri-food exporter. The country exported some 45 percent of its domestic food and agricultural products to more than 200 countries across the globe. Key exports include high-quality grains, oilseeds, pulses, meat products, highquality fish and seafood, table wines and ice wines. Canada is one of the world’s top-10 beef producers and exporters and the third-largest exporter of pork in the world.
Statistics also show China is Canada’s second largest market for its agriculture, agri-food, seafood and beverage products. In 2014, this trade was valued at some CAD 5.3 billion or about RMB 26 billion.
For Southwest China, some of the key Canadian exports to the region include canola oil, meal, barley, live pigs, genetic products, pork, pork by-products, seafood, ginseng and other health products and wine.