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Opportunities for Canadian canola in China

June 17, 2013 – A year-long joint Sino-Canadian study released to key decision-makers in China on June 14, has proven that the use of Canadian canola meal in cattle feed in Chinese dairies can significantly increase quantity produced.

In a market where demand for milk is skyrocketing and milk quality is a concern for both dairies and consumers alike, the study marks a turning point in the development of China's dairy industry. And it opens up potential opportunities for Canadian canola meal in China. Assuming the entire Chinese dairy industry included Canadian canola meal, milk production in China would increase by about seven million litres per day.

The study, coordinated by the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) with funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, was conducted by leading Chinese academics, in cooperation with China's largest dairy companies. The results were revealed at a Beijing event with Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada in attendance. Canola Council President Patti Miller Chaired the event, which included Chinese dairy executives, officials of China's Ministry of Agriculture, and local media.

The research was conducted by Dr. Li Shengli and Dr. Wang Ruojun of the China Agricultural University at dairy farms operated by China's five largest milk producers. The study proved that when used in dry rations, meal from Canadian canola can increase daily milk production by .6 kilograms per cow, a substantial increase. One kilogram of milk is roughly equivalent to one litre. Over the past 30 years research done in various countries with Canadian canola meal has shown a cumulative average increase in milk production of one litre per cow per day, so this most recent study in China is consistent with long-term studies.

According to Ruojun, the study does more than just demonstrate a link between canola feed and the quantity of milk produced. "It makes clear that canola provides an answer to a challenge that has vexed Chinese dairies for years: how to raise both the quality and quantity of milk produced without raising cost disproportionately," says Ruojun. "Our research shows that use of canola is not only effective; it is economical for Chinese dairy farmers as well."

Canola is Canada's top agricultural export to China. In 2012, Canadian sales of canola seed, oil and meal to China was worth 3.1 billion- representing more than 50% of Canadian agri-food exports to China.

Click here for more information on the study.