Pulses were high on the agenda during bilateral discussions between the prime minister of India and the prime minister of Canada earlier today. The two governments have released a joint statement committing to work closely together to finalize an arrangement within 2018 to enable the export of Canadian pulses to India free from pests of quarantine importance, with mutually acceptable technological protocols.
Chris Chivilo, President and CEO of Canadian pulse processor W.A. Grain & Pulse Solutions, participated in the CEO panel at the Prime Minister’s Round Table. Chivilo, who is also a member of the Canadian Special Crops Association, addressed the issues of fumigation, exemption from changes to government policy that result in increased costs for cargo en route to India and the need for predictability and transparency in changes to government policy impacting pulses.
“The pulse industry made real progress today,” said Mr. Chivilo. “The joint statement issued after the meeting I attended is an important milestone in pulse trade relations between Canada and India. The Prime Ministers have recognized the importance of food security and science-based approaches to plant protection policy. We will need to continue this collaboration and finalize solutions that will work for both Canada and India.”
Lee Moats, Chair of Pulse Canada’s Board of Directors, was also in India attending the Canada-India Business Council meetings, where he had an opportunity to speak to Prime Minister Trudeau.
“The industry has been working alongside the Canadian government to address the challenges of the evolving pulse trade relationship with India,” said Mr. Moats. “It is clear to me that we can count on the Prime Minister to be in our corner.”
The joint statement issued by the Government of Canada and the Government of India also emphasizes the importance of ensuring access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food for all and notes that transparency and predictability of market access conditions, including sharing of information on production of agricultural commodities, are key to advancing the food security goals of both countries. The full statement can be found here.