Plant protein industry continues to be innovative to meet demands

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Plant protein industry continues to be innovative to meet demands
WATCH : As demands in agriculture take slight shifts, companies are ready to make changes – Nov 18, 2019

The plant protein industry received $153 million to develop technologies and ensure the ecosystem remains a priority.

A supercluster is a collaboration of companies, organizations and academic institutions working together to achieve innovation in a specific industry. The federally funded Innovation Supercluster Initiative (ISI) is investing $950 million in five different superclusters, which includes:

  • digital technology;
  • advanced manufacturing;
  • A-I powered supply chains;
  • oceans; and
  • plant protein.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan farmers feeling effect of the carbon tax during wet harvest

Protein Industries Canada (PIC) broke down the $153 million supercluster investment at an Inland Terminal Association of Canada (ITAC) conference in Saskatoon on Monday. Fourteen million metric tonnes of protein are produced in Western Canada every year.

“We’ve traditionally been a great producer of commodities,” said Meghan Gervais, PIC intellectual property manager.

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“This is a step toward adding extra value to them before they’re exported and also before they’re used domestically.”

READ MORE: Stephen Harper’s firm to help Saskatchewan increase export market

Plant protein includes canola, wheat and pulses. Pulses, which include beans, peas and lentils, are primary ingredients in Beyond Meat products. A higher global population and growing middle class, and an increase of purely plant-based diets have contributed to the greater demand for plant protein.

READ MORE: Sask. cattle producers mindful of Beyond Meat’s success

PIC has until March 2023 to invest the $153 million in different projects. Its goal is for Canada to become a global leader in the plant protein industry.

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