Annual Report 2021-2022
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2021-22 Accomplishments

By almost every metric, 2021-22 was a good year for Protein Industries Canada – with significant progress made toward both long- and medium-term goals. By the end of fiscal year 2021-22, Protein Industries Canada had met, exceeded or surpassed every metric set out by the Government of Canada.

The initial $153 million from the federal government has now been fully committed, plus the additional $20 million received in the 2021-22 federal budget, through 53 total approved and contracted projects. Evaluation of projects to date indicates that Protein Industries Canada will exceed our goals related to job creation and GDP. Internationally, Canada is gaining traction as the place to do business in the plant-based food sector. The world is noticing Canada, and we are quickly solidifying our position as the preferred country to invest and do business with, when it comes to plant-based foods and ingredients.

Our members are attracting new clients, forming new partnerships, scaling up, creating jobs and growing. From our perspective, the Cluster Theory is proving true: by focusing on transformative industries, collaboration and being industry led, we are accelerating innovation and achieving commercialization quicker.

In 2021-22, Protein Industries Canada:

  • Icon hand $478M+

    Reached a total project value of more than $478 M with industry contributions of $305 M;

  • Icon technology 15

    Approved 15 additional Technology Projects with a total project value of $112 million;

  • Icon capacity 12

    Approved 12 capacity projects with a total project value of more than $17 million;

Protein Industries Canada’s portfolio now includes:

  • Icon technology 34

    34 technology projects worth a total of $450 million

  • Icon building 18

    18 capacity building projects worth a total of $28 million

  • Icon products 633

    Developed 633 new products, processes and services;

  • Icon jobs 10,800 jobs

    The creation of 10,800 jobs through co-investment projects by 2031;

  • Icon handshake $15B

    Contribution of $15 billion to Canada’s GDP by 2031 through co-investment projects

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The complexity of Canada’s agrifood sector became increasingly apparent in the past year, as the world’s food supply chain continued to struggle with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. The food supply chain was placed under further stress by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Never has it been more important for Canada to secure our food supply chain, while also helping other countries. The unfortunate reality is that the world is facing an unprecedented time when it comes to food availability and security. Now more than ever, securing Canada’s food supply chain must be a priority.

These circumstances, combined with the fragility of trade agreements, the rising cost of food and the instances of empty grocery store shelves, is evidence of why Canada needs to work collaboratively to increase domestic ingredient and food production capacity.

The need for a unified agrifood sector is necessary for the continued evolution and success of the sector. Challenges related to production – such as drought – and consumer preferences, and the expectations of retailers and food manufacturers around sustainability have put continued stress on the agrifood sector. Increasingly Canada’s plant-based food sector, led by Protein Industries Canada, has become a prominent voice in these conversations. As an industry, we need a strong, united voice that can focus resources on the most important initiatives, and bring the value chain together. We will only achieve success by collaborating with like-minded organizations, those that believe we need a new approach to grow Canada’s agrifood sector.

Protein Industries Canada uses our position as a respected leader in Canada’s agrifood sector to share the message about the importance of investing into Canada’s processing sector, most notably leading the creation of The Road to $25 Billion – a 15-year plan for Canada’s plant-based food, feed and ingredient sector.

Protein Industries Canada is committed to working with domestic and international partners alike, to ensure that Canada’s agrifood sector continues to be resilient in the face of global disruption.


Building on the success of the initial work of Protein Industries Canada plan, develop and begin to implement a next-level, comprehensive sector-wide strategy aimed at capturing a significant portion of the anticipated $109-181 billion CDN global plant protein market.


In September of 2021, Protein Industries Canada, in partnership with our members, launched The Road to $25 Billion. The document outlines the necessary activities and actions to supply 10 per cent of the ingredients for the global plant-based food market. Capturing 10 per cent of the global market would mean $25 billion in sales each year, and the creation of more than 17,000 well-paying jobs for Canadians.

Created in collaboration with more than 100 stakeholders, the Roadmap is a comprehensive sector-wide strategy that considers 46 key actions to help guide the continued growth of Canada’s ecosystem. By working collaboratively, we will ensure Canada is positioned to meet global demand for healthy and sustainable plant-based food options. The Roadmap recommends continued innovation, supporting scale-up of production and ensuring Canadian organizations can prosper. The Roadmap will help meet some of society’s most pressing issues – including climate change, food security and health — while also creating jobs and driving economic growth for Canada.

The Road to $25 Billion

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Sector Growth

The growth of Canada’s plant-based food and ingredient sector requires increased private sector investments across the entire value chain, from plant breeding and production agriculture through to value-added processing and market development. Investments made by Protein Industries Canada leverage private sector contributions to increase research and development into Canada’s plant-protein sector.

Over the past year, there has been a focus on increasing the awareness of the need for significant private investment into the ingredient and food space. Businesses in this space have very different requirements for capital than more traditional investment streams – such as a larger amount due to the capital-intensive nature of the sector, longer times to a return, and the overall early stage of the sector. Combined, this has made it difficult for many of Canada’s innovative SMEs to attract the capital necessary to scale and grow.


Create and implement a Capital Growth Strategy.


In 2021-22 the advancement of a Capital Growth Strategy for Canada’s plant-based ecosystem was a significant priority. To advance the strategy, significant member and stakeholder outreach was undertaken. This included contacting private investors as well as organizations like BDC and EDC to better understand their investment criteria, their knowledge of the sector, and engaging them in Canada’s plant-protein ecosystem. Similar outreach was conducted with Protein Industries Canada members — to help understand their challenges in accessing capital – and learning from those who have had success. The results and findings of the outreach will be summarized into a White Paper, with recommendations to increase capital investment into Canada’s plant-based food and ingredient sector, and to make Canadian SMEs looking to attract capital more competitive.

Protein Industries Canada will continue to work with federal funding organizations such as FCC, BDC and EDC to ensure that all of the federal organizations are aligned to support the growth of Canada’s plant-based food, feed and ingredient sector.

In addition to attracting more capital into the sector, we also need to ensure that our companies are competitive in attracting capital. To that end, Protein Industries Canada has partnered with Ivey Business School at Western University to offer training in leadership skills and business acumen to members of Canada’s plant-based food, feed and ingredients ecosystem, with the intent of strengthening capacity within the sector. A key component of this program is increasing the business acumen and sophistication of Canadian companies to make them more competitive in accessing private investment. The first cohort launched in March 2022, with 15 attendees.

Project highlight: Attracting capital to Canada’s plant-based food, feed and ingredient sector

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Sector Competitiveness

Canada’s plant-based sector is a vibrant start-up space. Canadian start-ups are creating new products — applying innovative technology to the development of food and ingredient products to meet an ever-discerning consumer expectation for healthy and sustainable food. New companies are being created, investment is being attracted, and new partnerships are being developed. Together, these efforts are positioning Canada as a leader and innovator in a growing and dynamic industry. To be successful, we need to build a business environment that supports innovation and the commercialization of new technology. Protein Industries Canada’s capacity building stream focuses on investments into priority areas necessary to ensure a competitive environment and build capacity in the ecosystem.


• Invest with industry to develop and commercialize new products.

• In 2021-22, Protein Industries Canada invested in 15 technology projects, to a total of 34 technology projects, worth $450 million. Cumulatively, these projects are expected to create 633 new products, processes and services, and 260 new intellectual property assets. This fiscal also saw the completion of three technology projects.

• Continue to focus on priority areas of regulatory modernization, international engagement, and skills, talent and access to labour.


In Spring of 2021-22, Protein Industries Canada issued a special call for capacity building projects, with a focus on four key areas: regulatory, skills, labour and access to talent, infrastructure, and international engagement. The call resulted in 13 new expressions of interest. From the 13 EOIs, seven projects were invited to move to full application. The seven projects fell into a mix of priority areas, with a strong focus on skills, labour and access to talent. Through the specific call, several new capacity building projects were approved in the priority areas:

1. Increasing Canada’s Training Capacity in Chemical and Food Science Technologies

This $565,000 project will result in the development of two new three-year diploma at Assiniboine Community College to address the challenges in labour shortage and to meet the opportunities presented through the investments in plant-protein processing and other food and beverage manufacturing across Canada. The Chemical Technology Diploma and Food Science Diploma will be offered to students across the Prairies and Canada, as well as to international students, with a special focus on Indigenous students, given the college’s current focus on Indigenous student recruitment and retention. These programs will be the first in Manitoba and the Food Science Diploma will be the first in the Prairies.

2. Regulatory Centre of Excellence

This $1.5 million program works with key industry partners to generate the data to inform and support changes to Canadian regulatory frameworks as well as develop the first Regulatory Centre of Excellence to assist companies in the sector. This project will help drive change with Health Canada and other regulatory bodies, and the Centre of Excellence will help Protein Industries Canada members and other industry players to work through their regulatory issues, create a repository of regulatory knowledge and bridge the conversation with regulators to support the commercialization and competitiveness of innovative products and processes.

3. Reskilling Workers for Digital Agriculture

This $1 million project is focused on designing and delivering a reskilling pilot program in digital skills in the agrifood sector in Saskatchewan. The project includes consultations with key stakeholders and industry partners, and leverages existing reports to determine the most pressing needs of industry and develop a short program to meet the demands of employers. The project will help unemployed Canadians, including under-represented populations, to access specific training on digital skills in the agrifood sector and have access to job placement opportunities, with a special focus on bias-mitigation. The project will also build a case for a potential expansion across the Prairies.

4. Micro-Credentialing of Indigenous Youth to Work in Food and Ingredient Processing/Manufacturing Businesses

This $946,000 project will bring together Indigenous leaders, technical training institutes, governments and industry to create one or more “agrifood processing micro-credentials” for Indigenous, and potentially non-Indigenous, youth in Western Canada. Ultimately, it will allow those youth to become engaged, successful and meaningful employees and contributors to agrifood processing businesses and form a potential long-term source of sustainable benefits to Indigenous communities (e.g., education, employment, community engagement, agricultural business development, health, etc.). Interconnected to these new employment opportunities for youth, the proponents assert that as sources of Indigenous investment capital seek the ability to meaningfully deploy assets into these businesses as co-investors, Indigenous leaders will further be able to ensure that numerous long-term benefits (e.g., investment returns, youth employment, education, equitable access to opportunities, etc.) continue to accrue for multiple generations.

“Indigenous people want to expand their national and global businesses in ways which bring economic prosperity, jobs and well-being to their communities, and this will help all Canadians. By advancing an innovation culture with Indigenous businesses and communities, and growing the collaborations among researchers, research agencies and Indigenous business, we can develop new products, new service lines, new innovative approaches and solutions that are good for all Canadians and the Canadian economy.”

Indigenous Works President and CEO Kelly Lendsay

• Support the development and tracking of sustainability indicators for Canadian plant-based ingredients.


Consumers around the world are choosing plant-based foods to support their health and to help reduce their own impact on the environment — a trend that will only accelerate in the years and decades to come. At the same time, nations across the globe are dealing with issues around population growth, mass urbanization, food security, nutrition and climate change. These countries need assurance of a reliable supply of healthy and sustainably produced food — and Canada can be that supplier.

In 2021-22, Protein Industries Canada co-invested into a $650,000 project to establish the sustainability benchmarks for Canada’s agrifood sector. A private–public coalition of more than 80 diverse partners are working together to create the indicators, and together will help shine a spotlight on the sustainability of Canada’s agriculture and agrifood industry, improving both consumer trust and our national brand. The creation and adoption of sustainability indicators will increase Canada’s competitiveness and market opportunities.

• Position sector as an attractive investment opportunity.

• Increase the stature of Canada in global value chains pertaining to food processing and manufacturing.


Canada has risen to the top when it comes to international profile. Conversations regarding plant-based food and ingredient innovation cannot be had without Canada being mentioned. Our strength as a supplier of high-protein crops, commitment to sustainability, supportive government, and leading-edge research and academic institutions, combined with our trailblazing companies, has positioned Canada as a leader in innovation and the production of plant-based food and ingredients.

To further showcase Canada to the world, Protein Industries Canada, in partnership with Pulse Canada and Plant Based Foods of Canada, announced the first Canadian-led international event. Plant Forward – The Future of Food is Canada – will take place Nov. 1 and 2, 2022, in Toronto, Ont. – and will showcase Canada to the world.

In addition to hosting our first own international event, Protein Industries Canada continues to increase the profile of Canada on the global stage, making connections to support the growth of Canada’s ecosystem. A specific example is the multiple international events Protein Industries Canada participated in – including multiple events to Japanese audiences, South Korea, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and more. These events – and more so the relationships that emerge – are key to positioning Canada as a global leader in innovation.

In the past year, Protein Industries Canada invested in two key reports to advance Canada’s position as an attractive investment opportunity – the Ernst and Young Report and the Ady Advantage Report. Both reports outlined Canada’s competitive advantages and areas of improvement in attracting investment. The insight and direction garnered from the reports are an important first step in furthering investment into the growing sector.

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Sector Collaboration

Collaborative innovation in high-growth sectors, such as plant-based foods, will help support Canada’s innovation agenda and grow the Canadian economy. The collaboration between start-ups, SMEs, large anchor firms and academic institutions helps de-risk ambitious R&D projects, allowing innovation to happen quicker and more efficiently – helping trailblazing companies move from concept to commercialization more quickly.

Collaboration is a central tenant of how Protein Industries Canada approaches all things. Over the past three years, increasing collaboration has become the norm within Canada’s plant-based food sector – which is evidenced by the increase in collaboration metrics.


• Continue to develop and evolve member value offerings to stay relevant and meaningful to the ecosystem.

• Work to increase connections between members, capital firms, potential clients and more.


  • Protein Industries Canada has 442 organizations participating in projects
  • Protein Industries Canada members have a high level of satisfaction with Protein Industries Canada with a satisfaction score of 8.1/10. NGOs and Private Sector organizations ranked Protein Industries Canada the highest with an average of 8.2.
  • The greatest member benefits presented by Protein Industries Canada, according to our for-profit members are:
    • Opportunities for collaboration (4/5)
    • Opportunities to grow my network (3.3/5)
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Operational Excellence

As a member-based organization that administers public funds and helps to execute large-scale technology and capacity building projects, we require due diligence, strong financial management and transparency.


• Continue the delivery of technology and capacity building investment streams.

• Have a high-performing team; ensure staff are engaged and appreciated.


Though COVID-19 continued to impact the operations of Protein Industries Canada, the organization delivered as a high-performing team – focusing on the successful delivery of both the technology and capacity building investment streams. By focusing on building relationships with the ecosystem, Protein Industries Canada can earn a high degree of trust with our members, and work alongside to ensure projects remain on track.

The key deliverable for Protein Industries Canada continues to be the delivery of both the technology and capacity building investment streams. Both streams are now fully committed, and the focus is now on project management – ensuring that projects are on track to reach expenditure goals and carefully monitoring any deviations, so money can be re-invested into new initiatives.

Maintaining a high level of engagement amongst staff is key to Protein Industries Canada’s success. Staff members participate in monthly all-hands meetings and develop work plans that include personal and professional development goals. Staff have also participated in team training and in planning sessions that occurred throughout the year. Protein Industries Canada also committed to the federal government’s 50-30 Challenge — a program to accelerate diversity and to encourage Canadian organizations to adopt practices to improve equity. Protein Industries Canada has a gender-parity Board of Directors as well as gender-parity within their senior leadership team. In addition, 15 per cent of Protein Industries Canada staff are new Canadians.


of Protein Industries Canada staff feel that their work is meaningful


of Protein Industries Canada staff feel appreciated and recognized for their contributions