Farmscape for April 16, 2020
The Research Lead with Agri-Food Economic Systems says, as nations respond to COVID-19 by limiting food exports, Canada has an opportunity to reposition its agriculture sector as a trusted supplier.
Agri-Food Economic Systems has released an Independent Agri-Food Policy Note which looks at "The New Trade Economy of Food Security: Repositioning Canada."
Research Lead Dr. Al Mussell says some countries that are traditional exporters have started to enact various types of prohibitions on exports, be it quotas or taxes and that has implications for Canada in terms of keeping the capacity in place to export through this crisis.
Clip-Dr. Al Mussell-Agri-Food Economic Systems:
It almost doesn't matter what commodity you look at.
You look at grains, you look at beef, you look at pork, there's really only a handful of countries that have material capacity to export beyond what they need to feed their own people and Canada is in that group.
I think it underlies the importance of Canada being able to keep that export capacity in place as we navigate through this COVID-19 crisis.
There's a lot of rich countries that are highly food insecure but still, if you look at their balance in terms of the food they produce relative to their demands, they absolutely need to import very high volumes of food.
If we can maintain our export supply chains in place and be able to supply those markets when other people are backing away, that trust and that position that we earn as a result could be very valuable.
Dr. Mussell says in a short period of time the rules based trade environment that has protected Canada's market access has eroded as the larger countries have reshaped international trade for their own benefit.
He says one way of escaping that dynamic is to forge lasting relationships with countries that are food insecure and have money to pay for food.
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