GUELPH, ON (April 2, 2012) – Grain Farmers of Ontario is encouraged by the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations launched this week between Canada and Japan.
Japan is a critical market for Ontario’s soybean growers as it is estimated that Canada holds a 38 percent share of Japan’s food grade market for soybeans. All negotiations that strengthen our relationship with the Japanese will result in market opportunities for Ontario grain farmers’ highest value export – food grade soybeans.
“The Canadian Soybean Council (CSC) just returned from a trade mission that included stops in Japan to promote our high quality food grade soybeans,” says Henry Van Ankum, Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “Having a formal agreement between our countries will reinforce the positive working relationships we have cultivated over the last few years the CSC has been working with the Japanese.”
Soybean exports to Japan return over $200 million annually to the Canadian economy. A free trade agreement has the potential to increase exports to Japan which is good news for Ontario’s growers of the high quality, traceable, safe and quality assured soybeans Japanese buyers demand. This increase in demand for Ontario’s higher value crops will result in job creation and the growth of our economy.
“If the higher than expected turnout to our seminars across Japan on the recent mission is any indication of the interest in Canadian soybeans by Japanese buyers, we have a bright trading future ahead,” says Van Ankum. “These free trade negotiations will strengthen our Canadian brand and go a long way to creating more interest in our grains and oilseeds.”
Grain Farmers of Ontario
Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.