CEO, Protein Industries Canada
Protein Industries Canada, an industry-led Supercluster focused on driving growth within Canada’s plant-based food, feed, and ingredients sector is helping Canada meet global demand for this sector.
Global demand for protein is growing, but it’s also changing. Consumers are looking for foods that are convenient to make and eat, yet that still meet their health and nutrition needs while prioritizing environmental sustainability.
Plant-based foods and ingredients can meet those expectations—a fact consumers are becoming increasingly aware of. The global plant-based food market is expected to reach $250 billion by 2035. Canada, with its vast, diverse crop selection and near-global market access, is in a prime position to supply at least 10 percent of the food and ingredients needed to meet that demand.
How Canada can meet global demand
Work needs to be done to get there, however. Capital needs to be raised, infrastructure built, partnerships formed, and new ingredients and products developed.
“We really need to think about developing our innovation economy, creating a better line of sight between our ingredient manufacturers and consumer packaged goods companies, improving access to capital, and focusing on creating good-tasting products that consumers enjoy eating,” says Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel. “We need all of this to be successful.”
Protein Industries Canada is helping move these actions forward through a variety of initiatives. One way of doing that is by building collaboration within Canada’s plant-based food, feed, and ingredients sector through its Technology and Capacity Building co-investment programs.
What’s been accomplished so far
By combining forces, innovative companies throughout Canada are developing new, sustainably produced plant-based foods and beverages using technologies and processes. Featuring newly developed protein ingredients made from Canadian-grown crops such as peas, canola and fava bean, these products are designed to taste better than their predecessors, while meeting the convenient, environment-friendly standards consumers around the world are looking for—all of which is easier to accomplish thanks to the feedback loop created by collaboration, from the farmer through to food manufacturer.
“If we’re collaborating along the value chain, what we can do is make sure that consumer preferences are communicated back through the value chain very, very quickly,” Greuel said. “If there are adjustments we need to make from a plant-breeding perspective—perhaps it’s protein functionality or flavour adjustments that we can change via plant breeding—creating that feedback loop makes sure that we’re meeting end-use customer demands as efficiently and quickly as possible.”