Fresh Produce Alliance Calling on Growers to Push Canadian Government for Trade Reform
CANADA - Canadian growers have long enjoyed a preferential status in their export trade with the United States, receiving protection under the same U.S. PACA laws as domestic suppliers. According to a press release, this preferential status could soon be revoked if Canada fails to enact reciprocal protections for U.S. growers exporting produce into Canada, as the Canadian government agreed to do during the 2011 Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council.
“According to data collected by the Fresh Produce Alliance, American suppliers are losing at minimum $10 million annually through Canadian buyer insolvency,” said Anne Fowlie, Executive Vice-President, Canadian Horticultural Council. “This is, coincidentally, about the same amount that Canadian suppliers are recovering each year through the U.S. Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) Trust. Hundreds more Canadian suppliers depend on the security PACA offers for ease of mind in their trade relationships.”
Losing PACA protections, which the FPA warns could happen any day, could deal a serious blow to the Canadian export market, which sends $1.6 billion in fresh produce the United States, supports 147,900 jobs and created $11.4 billion in real GDP in 2013.
“Canadian industry can ill afford to take on added costs, given that three quarters of Canada’s 10,000 fruit and vegetable producers are small businesses with average sales of less than $85,000 per year,” said Jim Di Menna, President and CEO of Red Sun Farms. "Canadian exporters will be hit extremely hard because they will have to meet costly bonding requirements to achieve the same level of U.S. PACA trust protection they have enjoyed in the past."
What can industry members do to prevent this needless economic fallout? The Canadian produce industry has advocated the formation of a limited statutory deemed trust, modeled on the U.S. System. In order to unite your company behind this important cause, one which has profound implications for U.S. and Canadian growers alike, contact the Fresh Produce Alliance to learn what you can do to make a difference.