Western Canada is already known as an agricultural powerhouse. With more than 28 million hectares of arable land, accounting for more than 85 per cent of Canada’s production base – Western Canada knows how to grow food and feed.

And the demand for food is increasing.

By 2050, global food demand is expected to rise by 70 per cent on the back of three billion more middle-class consumers – mostly in Asia – whose diets are shifting to include more protein.

Think about it this way: the world will need to produce as much food in the next 45 years as in the previous 10,000 years.

Add that to shifting consumer trends – a move to more plant-protein, consumers adopting a flexitarian diet, a growing demand for food to be produced sustainably; combined with a growing demand for higher protein livestock feed, pet food and aquaculture - and its apparent that the opportunities around plant protein are almost endless.

The global plant-based protein market is estimated at more than $8B US and is expected to reach $14.8B US by 2023 with an expected compound annual growth rate of 5.9 per cent. Over the next five years, human consumption of plant-based protein is projected to nearly double.

Western Canada is uniquely positioned to meet this need. We already grow the crops, but we also need to add more value to our products here at home. We need to leverage our strengths from across the value-chain to produce new ingredients and new products. This will allow us to grow our markets – both in Canada and internationally, strengthening our economy, creating more jobs and growing Canadian businesses.