The Canadian Wheat Board has shipped its first load of canola, a cargo of 42,000 tonnes, aboard the ship Tai Health which is bound for Japan.
Changes to the western Canadian grain marketing system, implemented this year by the federal government, allow the CWB to market canola for the first time in history. Adding canola expands the CWB's crop mix which already includes wheat, durum and malting barley.
The canola, which was shipped from the Port of Prince Rupert in B.C., has been purchased by the Japanese agricultural co-operative Zen-Noh, which has chosen the CWB to be its main supplier of Canadian grain.
CWB president and CEO Ian White said the canola was a mix of cash purchases from companies and farmers as well as canola committed by farmers in the CWB pool which runs from harvest to June 30, 2013.
In a press release, White said pooling provides farmers with "the certainty of a good average return that will capture market rallies during the year."
It is the first time Canadian farmers have had the opportunity to pool canola as part of their overall marketing and risk management strategy.
"Our approach in this first year as a player in the canola market has been cautious to ensure our approach to sourcing, shipping and risk management is well-structured to work with a new product," White said in a statement. "The results have been very encouraging."