OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA — Colombia is easing phytosanitary import requirements for Canadian wheat, putting Canada on a level playing field with other exporting countries, Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced on May 5.

Canadian wheat producers and exporters can now expand their sales into this market, Ritz said. The changes will provide enhanced access for Western wheat and new access for Eastern wheat.

"Colombia is a growing market in a region of growing potential for Canadian wheat. Colombia is an important market and the resolution of concerns with Canadian exports to Colombia is important to increasing exports to the entire region,” said Cam Dahl, president of Cereals Canada. “We have resolved this issue because of cooperation between industry and multiple government departments."

Colombia is Canada's seventh largest market for wheat, and is one of eight priority markets in Latin America and the Caribbean under the Government of Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan.

In 2014, Canada’s exports to Colombia were valued at C$348 million, a significant increase from C$133 million in 2010 prior to implementation of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA).