In the coming weeks the Canola Council of Canada will be meeting with the Indian Commerce and Consumer Affairs Ministries to discuss the canola labelling issue. The Canadian Canola Council officers have opined that people the world over are familiar with the brand name canola. Consumers associate the brand name canola oil with various health benefits.
The Canola Council of Canada feels that the talks will help to lift the ban that the FSSAI has imposed on selling canola oil with the brand name Canola Oil. In fact since August 2014, FSSAI has stopped the import of vegetable oil that has a brand name. Instead the apex food authority has instructed importers that all canola oil containers be labelled as “imported rapeseed-low erucic acid oil”. Importers were told to include “edible vegetable oil” on the list of ingredients and put it on the label. The Canola Council hopes that it will be able to clarify with the entre the difference between canola oil and oil extracted from conventional rapeseed.
The Canola Council says that there is an increasing demand for canola oil because of the health benefits associated with it. Lifestyle changes and rise in the standards of living has pushed the demand for canola oil to about 26 metric tonnes. To meet this demand Canada is developing new hybrid and genetic seeds to raise the yield. However, India does not import seeds as it has banned the import of genetically modified canola seeds and other modified organisms for processing in India.
The Canadian government is also taking initiatives to increase the export of canola oil as it contributes in a big way to the economy. They are also promoting the oil in new markets. China is the fasted growing market and till July this year had imported canola worth $2.9 billion. This includes canola oil as well as canola seeds for crushing. India imports only 70,000 tonnes of canola oil and no seeds. Canada’s export of canola oil to the US stood at $3.5 billion till July, while shipments to Japan were $1.2 billion.
Canola is grown in Western Canada and is an important crop as almost 20 million acres are used to grow canola. In 2013 the production peaked because of good weather conditions and the country produced almost 18 million metric tonnes of canola. Annually, canola produce however, remains at about 15 million metric tonnes in most years.