More than 85 per cent of Canada’s pulse production is exported to markets all over the world.
Manager of Market Access and Trade Policy for Pulse Canada, Mac Ross, says it's important for farmers to be aware of market access restrictions that may apply depending on what crop protection products they use this growing season.
Ross says, maximum residue limits (MRL) are the highest level of pesticide residue that can be found on a food product when a pesticide is used accourding to label directions, and is measured in parts per million.
"They're not a safety limit, or a benchmark for human health, but they're a measure used to ensure pesticides have been properly used, and are primarily used for trade purposes."
Ross stresses maximum residue limits are a benchmark for trade compliance not human health.
He says, there is an increasing amount of countries creating their own MRL lists, moving away from the global standard codex.
"You have over 100 different crops globally, over 400 different active ingredients globally, compounded with these countries moving to these different MRL lists you can imagine the misalignment that can occur."
He says, when countries are adopting their own MRL lists, they may not have a default policy if they don't have a maximum residue limit for an active ingredient used in crop protection products in Canada.
This means the default residue limit will be set at near zero, or zero, which Ross says, causes a great deal of uncertainty for farmers and exporters.
That's why Pulse Canada is involved in the Keep it Clean initiative.
The Keep It Clean initiative is a collaboration between Canola Council of Canada, Cereals Canada and Pulse Canada to help producers make crop protection management decisions that ensure that markets stay open for Canadian crops.
Ross says, the Keep it Clean website has recommendation to help growers understand what products might cause concerns in the global market place.
"Pulses are unique in the sense that we have five different crops under the pulse umbrella, as well as a myraid of different crop protection actives that we use on it, so we strongly recommend growers check out the advisory for themselves on the site."
He says, it's important for growers to understand even if there's a label for a crop protection product in Canada, it can still raise some market access concerns.
Canada exports pulses to over 125 countries, with the major pulse export markets being India, China, Bangladesh, Turkey and the European Union.
Visit the website at www.keepingitclean.ca
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