Protein Industries Canada has released a new report highlighting the need for an increased focus on domestic processing.
CEO Bill Greuel says " The Road to $25 Billion" is an updated economic plan for Canada’s ingredient manufacturing, food processing, and bio-products sector.
"It's an economic plan to grow the sector to $25 billion. We just see almost unlimited potential in value-added agriculture in Western Canada. And we thought we'd put together a bit of a document to foster a conversation about what it is we need to do as a country to drive this economic opportunity."
He says in a rapidly changing global environment characterized by the new realities of climate change, geopolitical tensions, increased competition, and a rapidly growing global population, maintaining the status quo is no longer an option.
"We must consider areas of the economy that have the potential to grow and be resilient within this new reality. Canada’s ingredient manufacturing sector is one of those. It can offer prosperity, a strengthened food supply chain, and economic resilience to Canada in the face of this evolving landscape."
Gruel feels Canada’s agriculture and food sector has long been undervalued as an economic driver.
"We think there's a $25 billion economic opportunity for value-added processing. You know, that could be about two to two and a half million metric tonnes of additional processing capacity built out in the next decade in Canada. We think there's really five things that need to get done. That's a focus on innovation and how we support the commercialization of intellectual property in Canada. We need to create the right regulatory environment to foster innovation. We need to ensure that we're building out and supporting the right type of transportation and research infrastructure. We think we need to work on a global basis to establish new markets for plant-based food and ingredients. And finally, we need to find ways to incentivize more private capital into the sector."
He points out that just as electric vehicles signify a sustainable evolution in transportation and an economic boon, so does ingredient manufacturing and food processing for our agricultural sector.
"We have a massive opportunity to build on the strength of our commodity production, to start processing more of our commodities here at home, and create an economy that is resilient to global disruptions."
Protein Industries Canada says by investing in ingredient manufacturing, food processing, and bio-products not only promises to add $25 billion a year to our economy and create 17,000 jobs but also offers several additional benefits:
New development to revitalise local communities in the form of 10 to 15 new processing plants across Canada;
More opportunities for farmers;
Reduced emissions on global food systems;
Enhanced security for Canada’s food supply chain; and
The establishment of Canada as a leader in the global food system shift.
You can check out the Road to $25 Billion report here.
To listen to Glenda-Lee's conversation with Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Gruel click on the link below.