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The president of Cereals Canada says it's time for the federal government to get involved to help resolve a trade dispute with Italy.

Cam Dahl notes that Italy will be implementing country of origin labelling on durum wheat in mid-February, adding the supply chain has been preparing for the past few months.

He says the situation has deteriorated over the past year or so.

"It really is time now to be taking the next step, and to launch a formal challenge either through the WTO (World Trade Organization) or through the recently signed Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA) to challenge the country of origin labelling regulations which are clearly just protectionist," commented Dahl.

He adds that Canadian durum exports are down, noting farmers will definitely consider this fact when deciding what to seed this upcoming spring.

Italy is one of Canada's top export markets for durum wheat, representing 20 to 25 per cent of exports every year.

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