Securing and strengthening Canada’s food supply chain

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Capacity Building

The Food Convergence Innovation (FCI) Canada – Food and Beverage Supply Chain Project will be led by McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics with a national consortium of Food and Beverage Canada, CTAQ, Food & Beverage Atlantic, Food and Beverage Ontario, Food & Beverage Manitoba, BC Food & Beverage, Bivizio, and the University of Ottawa. These organizations are together investing $500,000 into the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing $2.1 million, for a total project value of $2.7 million.

The FCI-Canada Project focuses on creating a national, sector-wide platform with enterprise-to-enterprise connectivity capabilities, which will help strengthen Canada’s domestic food supply chain.

The FCI-Canada platform will make it easier to recover from supply chain disruptions such as those associated with COVID-19, as well as diversify Canada’s plant-based food, feed and ingredients offerings through collaborative partnerships. Expanding its functionality across the country will mean better responsiveness across the national supply chain and will help ensure the security of Canada’s food system. Canada’s leading food and beverage associations will build provincial and regional databases that will then be connected into a national network.

“The COVID-19 pandemic did more than reveal weaknesses in our healthcare system, it also exposed the fragility of Canada’s ability to feed itself.

This project demonstrates the value of academia working together and with industry to impact a precious, but all too often taken for granted, resource: the food we eat.”

- McGill Vice-Principal of Research and Innovation Martha Crago

This project builds on Conseil de la Transformation Alimentaire du Québec (CTAQ)’s existing Systeme Numerique Alimentaire Collaboratif (SNAC) collaboration platform, developed by Bivizio and currently in use in Quebec, as well as data science work conducted at the University of Ottawa.

In its evolution to FCI-Canada, the national platform will help companies from across Canada make connections across the value chain by allowing them to post and search for specific products, services and partners within given geographic parameters.

The platform will help the Canadian plant-based food, feed and ingredients sector improve its international competitiveness by allowing companies to respond collaboratively and more easily to shifts in consumer demand. This will lead to the development of new plant-based protein ingredients and products, providing consumers around the world with more choices that align with their values, lifestyles and nutrition needs.