Feeding 38 million Canadians
A message from CEO Bill Greuel
Conversations around food security are becoming increasingly common. . Driven by the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia and compounded by climate challenges – including drought and flooding – our world is in an unprecedented place when it comes to reliable access to safe and healthy food.
Countries around the globe are actively working to secure their own food supply chains for now and the future. It is an unfortunate reality that the current challenges will continue for years to come. As populations increase, the climate continues to change, and while political uncertainty and supply chain fragility continue, it is without doubt that we will keep seeing increased instances of food insecurity.
Canada is not immune to these challenges.
While we are a leading producer of high-quality livestock and crops such as wheat, lentils, canola and peas, as a nation, we import a significant percentage of our food.
That means we rely on other countries for food products to fill our grocery store shelves. As global competition for food increases, Canada’s ability to ensure that every Canadian has access to safe, healthy and nutritious food is threatened.
It doesn’t need to be that way.
By building Canada’s ingredient and food processing value chain we can protect our food security, while also supporting Canada’s transition to a green economy. By increasing our ability to process crops into ingredients and food, we can reduce food miles, employ sustainable processing methods, and solidify a domestic supply chain, all while creating jobs for Canadians. We will also be able to offer finished food products to people around the world who are desperate for safe and nutritious food.
The Government of Canada’s support of Protein Industries Canada, as part of the Global Innovation Cluster program, is helping Canada do this. Over the past four years, we have worked alongside industry to invest close to half a billion dollars into Canada’s ingredient and food processing sectors. These investments are resulting in new processing plants and food products. They are also creating jobs for Canadians from coast to coast.
Protein Industries Canada has proven that the cluster model of innovation works. We have delivered on every metric set out by government, including surpassing job creation and GDP growth targets.
The most important deliverable, though, is that we are helping ensure that every single Canadian – all 38 million of us—plus billions more people around the world have access to food.
We are excited to be able to continue doing this important work with the support of government and the recapitalization of the Global Innovation Clusters in budget 2022.
While agriculture is often linked to the Prairies, it’s a global sector, that all of Canada can play a lead in. From the farmers and ingredient processors in the Prairies and the Maritimes, to the food processors in the west and Central Canada – we have an opportunity to make Canada a better place for everyone.