CEO Message: Seizing Canada’s Competitive Opportunity


It’s been just over a year since Russia’s illegal war on Ukraine started. An unimaginable event with global consequences. For many, it brought to the forefront the fragility of global supply chains and the real threat of food insecurity. As the threat of food insecurity rises, so does the global race to establish food supply chains. Countries around the world are working to safeguard a reliable and secure supply of ingredients and food.

Companies from the UK, the EU, Asia and beyond are looking to make large investments into ingredient processing. There is high interest in Canada.

Building on our strength as an agricultural powerhouse; with more than 28 million hectares of arable land and a leading producer of high-protein crops such as peas and canola, combined with being energy secure with a motivated workforce, Canada has the opportunity to turn this interest into a long-term sustainable economic driver for Canada. In fact, at Protein Industries Canada, we believe that by 2035, Canada will provide 10 per cent of the plant-based ingredients to the world – a goal, that when achieved, will contribute upwards of $25 billion a year to Canada’s economy, supported by 17,000 jobs.

Similar to other emerging sectors such as electric vehicles, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Canada. We need to act quickly to secure our place in the global marketplace. Supply chains are being established, and we need them to include Canada.

The recent recapitalization of Protein Industries Canada, as part of the Global Innovation Cluster program, will allow us to continue our important work of establishing Canada’s ingredient value chain, while also positioning Canada as the partner of choice to help countries secure their food supply chain. Building off the success of the last four years, we will continue to support Canadian SMEs to advance innovation in plant-based foods, scale-up and reach commercialization. A key part in building out Canada’s ecosystem is attracting and nurturing new investments into the ingredient processing space.

There are large capital investments to be made over the next five to 10 years.

We need to work together – across all levels of government and with industry – to position Canada as the place to do business. Businesses want to locate in regions that are close to raw materials and have easy access to end-use markets. Utility costs are top of mind and there is growing interest in locating in regions that offer environmental stability – access to clean water, low risk of disruption from natural disasters and aligned values on environmental sustainability.

This is Canada.

A robust plant-based foods sector will not only bring economic benefit to Canada and Canadians, but it will also contribute to a more sustainable and green Canada. Together, we can help create a secure food supply chain for Canadians, while also being a key partner to countries around the world.