An update from Bill Greuel, CEO

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Perhaps Tom Cochrane (or for all the parents with kids of the Cars generation – Rascal Flatts – but I am staying with the original, and keeping it Canadian), was right when he sang “Life is a Highway”. Over the past three years, I think I have made more references to being on a journey, destination or a road to somewhere than I thought possible. Yet it’s true. I have recently celebrated my three-year anniversary at Protein Industries Canada. And over the past three years, I and the entire team of Protein Industries Canada have indeed been on journey. From a team of five, all based out of Regina, to now a team of more than 25 – spanning from B.C. to New Brunswick – we have come a long way.

Now yet again, we are starting down another road: The Road to $25 Billion.

At our AGM at the end of September, we, in collaboration with several partners from the ecosystem, launched a Sector Roadmap for Canada’s plant-based food, feed and ingredients sector. The Roadmap outlines key actions that will help the sector reach its goals in a strategic manner, including supplying the ingredients for 10 per cent of the global plant-based food products by 2035 – or the equivalent of $25 billion in annual sales from plant-based food, feed and ingredients.

For those of us involved in the sector, we know we are on the edge of an incredible opportunity, but it will take a coordinated effort to achieve it; creating an ecosystem and a successful and sustainable industry does not occur by happenstance. It occurs when people come together and contribute toward common goals for a defined outcome. This is what the Roadmap is meant to do: mobilize the sector around a common goal.

We have already come a long way on our journey (through Protein Industries Canada and our partners alone, more than $400 million has been invested into 33 collaborative projects). Now – much more than three years ago - it is a regular occurrence to open a newspaper and read an article about plant protein or hear of a new investment into the sector or see a new plant-based item on the menu. I personally have witnessed tremendous growth, but I also know we are just getting started. If we truly want to position Canada as the global leader, and take advantage of this opportunity, we must act now.

Value chains are being built all around us as other countries race on their own journey. To draw an analogy to another sector – the electric vehicle– the time to establish that industry is now. If we wait, we will be left in the passing lane. The Roadmap is reflective of how far we have come, while also recognizing that there is more to do – this is a marathon, not a sprint. I hope you will join us - and the many others who have already committed – as we work to establish Canada as a global leader in the production of plant-based food, feed and ingredients.