May 23, 2019

Plant protein – Building on agriculture’s history of innovation

By Chris Forrest

The buzz around plant protein continues to build as governments, investors, innovators and consumers alike respond to new opportunities to create and market food products that were the stuff of sci-fi movies on a couple of decades ago. From the triple digit growth of Beyond Meat to the recent announcement by Maple Leaf Foods of their intention to build a $310-million plant based protein facility near Indianapolis, the sector is attracting interest from new and traditional agri-food players across North America.

The Plant Protein Alliance of Alberta brought together an inspiring group of entrepreneurs in early May for information sessions titled ‘Growing Diversification’ held in Calgary and Edmonton. Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada, explained the size and scale of the opportunity at hand: a market that is expected to reach $15B USD by 2023.

While plant protein is no doubt a hot topic, Greuel made it clear that the emerging sector is “building upon, not replacing, the foundation of success in agriculture.”

He explained that innovation and “finding new ways to maximize our commodities and resources” has always been at the heart of agriculture. The key ingredients for sustained growth and success in the plant protein industry include: Innovative farmers who adapt new technologies and approaches to growing crops; a robust and credible research community; and an international reputation for delivering first class food products for export.

What is Protein Industries Canada and what is their mission? Click here.