GFM Network News


Incoming WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala takes part in an online meeting before speaking during an interview with Reuters in Potomac, Maryland on Feb. 15, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

Canada hails new WTO chief

Trade body names first African, and first female, DG

Canada is lending its support to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) choice for its new director general. Ngorzi Okonjo-Iweala was chosen Feb. 15 by WTO members as the international trade body’s new head, making her the first woman and the first African to serve in the role. Mary Ng, Canada’s minister of small business, export […] Read more

The World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Oct. 28, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Denis Balibouse)

Ban on food aid restrictions blocked at WTO

WTO says outcome 'disappointing' in difficult year

Geneva | Reuters — World Trade Organization members were at odds on Friday over a proposal that would ban countries from restricting food aid deliveries, potentially complicating the response to a feared COVID-fuelled humanitarian catastrophe next year. The proposal was one of two related to the pandemic that failed to make headway at a three-day […] Read more


China’s decision to get back at Canada by severely restricting canola seed imports made news all year long.

The Year That Was: China punishes Prairie farmers

For crop growers, China’s canola seed ban was the big news story of 2019

Reading Time: 2 minutes China’s near-total ban on Canadian canola seed dominated the news cycle in the past year. “The biggest challenge we faced through 2019 was the blockage of canola seed shipments to China,” said Jim Everson, president of Canola Council of Canada. “China is, of course, a very significant market for canola seed, oil, and meal, but […] Read more




EU flags in front of the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels. (Jorisvo/iStock/Getty Images)

U.S., Canada, 14 others slam EU farm product regulation at WTO

Geneva | Reuters — The United States and 15 other countries launched a broadside of criticism at the European Union on Thursday, saying its “hazard-based” approach to regulating pesticides and other “critical tools” used by farmers was damaging livelihoods worldwide. Their statement, submitted to the World Trade Organization, said the EU’s approach created great uncertainty […] Read more


(File photo)

U.S. wins WTO ruling on Chinese grains

Geneva | Reuters — The United States won a World Trade Organization ruling on China’s price support for grains, successfully challenging a calculation methodology that is also used by India. A WTO adjudication panel agreed on Thursday with the U.S. complaint that China had paid farmers too much for wheat, Indica rice and Japonica rice […] Read more

Farm group Coldiretti, which says it represents 1.6 million Italian farmers, attracts a lot of media attention with its demonstrations, including this one in Rome last summer. The message on the sign in a photo from an Italian TV station’s coverage of the demonstration translates as ‘We do not want the Canadian wheat that has glyphosate.’

Italian durum exports hit by labelling rule

Exports to our best long-term customer have plunged 
because of a new labelling rule and safety accusations

Reading Time: 4 minutes Canada needs to fight back to hold on to one of its biggest durum markets, says a top official with the association representing Italian pasta makers. “We know that Canadian durum wheat is excellent for pasta production, but unfortunately some Italian farm organizations have made a very tough campaign against it over the past years,” […] Read more



India’s decision to impose a 50-per-cent tax on peas surprised the Canadian pulse sector.

Out of the blue — India’s tax on peas hits growers here

India is our top customer for pulses but the pea tax and ongoing fumigation issue make for ‘a challenging situation’

Reading Time: 2 minutes India’s sudden decision to impose an immediate 50 per cent duty on pea imports has Canadian pulse officials scrambling to find answers — and figure out what comes next. “This sort of moves us beyond even where India has been before in pulse import duties… more than a decade ago we were at 10 per […] Read more