The Mexican market continues to frustrate Canadian canaryseed exporters. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has been decreasing the allowable number of weed seeds in Canadian canaryseed exports, but we still haven’t been able to satisfy Mexican authorities. I’m told that virtually all of our export cargoes are being sent for re-cleaning in Mexico. Cleavers has now been added to Mexico’s list of quarantine weed seeds, joining stinkweed, cow cockle and the wild buckwheat. It’s wild buckwheat that’s the most problematic. David Knobbs of CanPulse Foods out of Kindersley recently returned from Mexico. He toured Mexican plants that were re-cleaning Canadian canaryseed. By running their cleaning lines very slowly, he says the Mexicans are able to remove virtually all the weeds and hit the zero tolerance levels demanded. If Mexican cleaning plants can do this, Canadian plants should be able to do it as well, but it would come at a cost. Plus, there’s still a risk that when sampled a few weed seeds would be found and the cargo would still have to go for re-cleaning. Canadian exporters working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have tried very hard to resolve this troublesome issue, but unfortunately there’s still a big impediment to dealing with what has traditionally been our number one customer for the crop.

I’m Kevin Hursh.

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