Increasing demand for heart-healthy oils is said to be buoying the canola industry, with Canadia expecting to more than double their production of the crop by 2015. The nation's Canola Council recently said it aims to reach production levels of 15 million tons over the next eight years, a 65 percent increase of current levels of 9.1 million tons. The trade association has set out three major steps to help it achieve its production objectives: Capitalize on rising demand for healthy foods; focus on innovation as a means to improve quality and face competition from other oil crops; and increase yields while investing in research and development in its major competitor, soy. Cargill's research farm in Aberdeen, Saskatchewan, about 30 miles from the company's canola crush facility in Clavet, looks to be in-line with the Canola Council's objectives. The focus is on developing high yielding agronomic traits and the next generation of output traits. "The research farm at Aberdeen will enable Cargill to centralize its hybrid breeding program right in the commercial production region," said Alan Willits, president of Cargill's Specialty Canola Oils business. "It demonstrates Cargill's commitment to serving the entire supply chain, providing high-yielding Victory canola hybrids to farmers and oils with low saturated fat and zero trans fats to food costumers," he added. The company has confirmed that planting at the research farm will begin with the current crop year, just now getting underway. Soy is currently the primary competitor to the canola industry, and is reported to have more ongoing investment in end use oil profiles and protein enhancements than canola. Indeed, much of the current investment in soy oil modification is driven towards making soy oil more competitive with canola oil for food markets. For example, high stability canola is expected to experience competition from low linolenic soybeans in the trans-fat replacement market. Work is also being done to reduce the level of saturated fat in soy oil (down to 7 percent from 15 percent), which would place it in direct competition with naturally low-saturated fat canola as a 'heart-healthy' oil.