Representatives from Protein Industries Canada and Wageningen University in The Netherlands met in Vancouver this week.
The two agreed that protein transition is an indispensable step towards a sustainable future, both countries have a considerable agriculture base that could contribute to a more plant-based future.
The initiative, "Economically-Powered Protein Transition through Innovation in Chains" (EPPIC) involves 86 participating partners including Protein Industries Canada, and will begin its work in early 2024.
Mrs. Heimovaara of WUR says food systems have a considerable impact on the planet, which implies this is also where solutions can be found.
"Our current system depletes our natural resources, and the increasing demand for animal-sourced foods exacerbates this problem. Furthermore, proteins are not equitably shared as over-consumption co-exists with scarcity. We need a transition toward a sustainable, equitable, and balanced food system. I believe that living within the planetary boundaries is humanity’s greatest challenge. And we need each other’s knowledge and expertise for that. Canada is a global leader in the protein transition and a natural partner for The Netherlands with complementary expertise."
Protein Industries Canada chair Frank Hart says as the global demand for protein grows, now is the time to support the transition to more plant-based sources.
"Plant-based ingredients and foods offer not only an economic opportunity for Canada, but they can also be a part of the solution to reach our climate goals while supporting a healthy diet for people around the world. Protein Industries Canada is pleased to formalize our relationship with the Netherlands and Wageningen University & Research as we both work together to advance the protein transition. WUR has demonstrated leadership in plant-based foods and offers an incredible opportunity for Canada to learn from them and build partnerships to the benefit of both our ecosystems."
The first steps began in February 2023, The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the Southern Agriculture and Horticulture Organization, Wageningen University & Research, Larive International B.V., and Next Food Collective launched a master plan for the protein transition as an economic engine in The Netherlands.