A JOINT submission from Australian canola industry bodies has secured access to the invaluable European market for Australian canola producers in the nick of time.
Strict European Union (EU) emissions regulations meant that unless Australia received approval the door would have been shut for Australian exports of canola to the EU as of January 1.
The Aussie industry received the all-important EU accreditation as an environmentally friendly provider of biodiesel feedstock following the submission of a report into greenhouse gas emission levels from Australian canola farmers.
The market access win is huge news for the Australian canola industry, with exports of the 2016-17 crop to the EU worth more than $1 billion.
The report was prepared by CSIRO and funded by the Australian Oilseed Federation (AOF) and the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC).
AOF chief executive Nick Goddard said there was a sense of relief following the news.
“The EU market is too valuable to lose for Australian canola growers,” he said.
AEGIC chief economist Ross Kingwell said the decision would have positive impacts for the Australian canola industry, as Australia was a major supplier of imported canola for EU biodiesel production.
“Many Australian farmers rely on canola production, and securing access to lucrative markets like the EU is crucial to underpin the security and general profitability of cropping in many farm regions across Australia,” Professor Kingwell said.
Grain Growers economics and trade manager, Luke Mathews, said the win was big news for Australia’s grains industry.
"Europe is the single largest export destination for Australian canola," Mr Mathews said.
"Passing this legislation was critical for both ongoing market access and the profitability of Australian canola growers."
The CSIRO report worked on finding the total greenhouse gas emissions created by canola growers in Australia and found there was an average of 468 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) or equivalent for every tonne of canola produced, a figure that stacks up well against international competitors.
Fertiliser manufacturing and residue breakdown were the most emissions-heavy part of the production process.
CSIRO principal research scientist Sandra Eady said the process, where all emissions were accounted for, would become an increasingly common practice for grain producers.
“Australian industries are increasingly finding they need to track their emissions to meet international market requirements and standards,” Dr Eady said.
“We used a team of experts and a range of reviewers to ensure we accurately described emissions from canola production, and are able to assist other Australian industries as they increasingly face similar requirements.”