Protein Industries Canada (PIC) has announced a co-investment into the second phase of Canada’s National Index on Agri-Food Performance, alongside partners Pulse Canada and the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan.
The National Index on Agri-Food Performance is focused on developing a set of sustainability indicators and metrics related to Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industries, with an aim to increase Canada’s competitiveness in the global market. The Index will shine a spotlight on the sustainable practices being utilized in the industry, while also helping address where improvements can be made.
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Marie-Claude Bibeau, says innovation is key to the agricultural sector’s competitive advantage and long-term economic prosperity in Canada.
“With the ability to measure our sustainability efforts through the National Index on Agri-Food Performance, we will strengthen Canada’s reputation and competitiveness as a supplier of high quality food products into the future,” Minister Bibeau explains.
In additional to PIC, Pulse Canada, and GIFS, more than 75 organizations spanning the food system are collaborating to advance this work. This includes diverse representation not only from the agriculture and agri-food industry, but also from adjacent sectors such as financial services, innovation organizations, environmental NGOs, and federal and provincial governments. The partners are focused on showing how agri-food production and supply in Canada is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable.
Bill Greuel, CEO of PIC, says Canada has a reputation for sustainable production and processing practices, so having a set of metrics and indicators that measures these practices will allow the industry to further back up our sustainability claims.
“The ability to measure our sustainability efforts will help increase our competitiveness in the global market — particularly as we work to become a global leader in the production of plant-based ingredients and foods. Sustainability is an important distinguisher in this market, and this project will help further establish Canada as a leader in the area,” he says. “This will strengthen Canada’s reputation and global brand and increase trust in our products.”
Creating Canada’s first agri-food sustainability index involves tailoring a suite of globally recognized indicators that meet the needs of Canada’s agrifood context. The project also includes developing a series of papers to inform the index and policy implications. These actions will help present Canada’s sustainability credentials for the sector as a whole, including the plant-based foods and ingredients sector, improving Canada’s ability to meet the growing global demand for healthy, sustainable plant-based foods and ingredients.
A total of $659,000 has been committed to this phase of the project, with PIC committing $626,000. Project partners are committing the remainder and providing in-kind support.