WINNIPEG – Cereals Canada supports the formal World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute resolution case against China for their restrictions on Canadian canola exports.

Cereals Canada calls on the Government of Canada to immediately take similar action in response to the protectionist mandatory country of origin labelling regulations in Italy. The durum value chain has been calling for WTO action to resolve Italian mCOOL (mandatory country-of-origin labelling) for the past two years.

“Italy was once the largest market for Canadian durum, the wheat used to make pasta. Since mCOOL has been brought in, Canadian farmers have lost 60 per cent of this market, said Cam Dahl, president, Cereals Canada. “We urge the Government of Canada to stand up against and use all available tools to challenge the Italian regulations that effectively discriminate against Canadian products.”

Dahl further noted in the early September news release that “the loss of the Italian durum market has happened after the agricultural provisions of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement with Europe came into effect.”

Cereals Canada is calling for a much more public and assertive response from the federal government to the harm being done to Canadian farmers and exporters by the Italian regulations.

“We need to do more than sign trade agreements, we need to place a priority on making sure trade agreements actually work,” stated Dahl.

“Failure to challenge the Italian regulations will encourage other countries with trade protectionist goals to utilize similar means to block Canadian exports. The time to challenge these non-tariff barriers is now, before further proliferation of this protectionist tool,” concluded Dahl.