The face of the Canadian immigrant has changed. What was once a predominantly European population has shifted. There are now more people coming from India, Africa, China and other countries. With that shift comes a shift in eating habits and a resultant demand for foods that fit those habits. Filling those demands is where the opportunity lies for Canadian producers. There is a huge opportunity to fill those needs. Right now most of those foods, vegetables in particular, are being imported from other countries to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. In some cases, there are legitimate problems growing those crops in Canada, but a great deal of them can be grown here. The issues arise in identifying demand, researching growing practices and getting feedback from the consumer of those goods as to what suits their needs.
Vineland Research and Innovation is one company looking at those needs and how to fill them. CEO Jim Brandle spoke to that topic at the Canadian Food Summit in Toronto, Ontario. RealAgriculture caught up with him there.
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