On March 1, 2019, The Chinese Government posted on their website that Richardson International canola exports had their permits revoked due to the high level of pests being shipped with their canola load. Subsequently, the government of China has posted a list of harmful items that include black plague and some variety of weed seeds that have never been an issue in Canadian trade before. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has tested loads and all the results have indicated the levels are at acceptable levels, and within the parameters.
Ward Toma, General Manager of the Alberta Canola Producers Commission said, "It is only currently one company that is being banned, so it is not a total ban. If a major country like China stops buying our product it will result in lower canola price. We want to work with the Government of China to ensure the quality of the canola is addressed, and we have been working with the company involved to get to the bottom of China's official's concerns."
Richardson International has a canola processing plant in Lethbridge, and grain elevation terminals in the Strathmore area. If the company has their purchasing plan disrupted, the trickle-down effect could affect local farmers.