Protein Industries Canada to increase its focus on ingredient manufacturing

Canada’s federal government has allocated more funding for plant protein development across the country, so what types of investments can we expect to see coming up in this sector?

Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada (PIC), spoke with RealAg’s Shaun Haney on the direction PIC is going with this next round of funding.

Greuel says the announced incremental $150 million allocated to PIC will carry on over the next five years. This is on par with the first round of funding allocated to PIC in 2018.

Under funding round two, Greuel says PIC’s overall mandate is the same — to accelerate innovation with their members and grow the plant based food sector in Canada.

There will be a shift in focus, with more to be done on manufacturing and creating connections between ingredient manufacturers who produce things, such as protein concentrates and food manufacturers to produce consumer-ready products. Greuel says that they also have a desire to increase collaborators on projects from two to three.

One aspect of this project is to enable Canada to be a plant protein leader. Canada is not the only country to realize the potential market for plant protein but Greuel says that Canada is the only country to his knowledge approaching plant protein from a raw commodity investment standpoint. He states that this model is the best long-term investment for the plant protein industry growth when compared to other country’s investments into facilities.

Canada’s focus is on ingredient manufacturing. Greuel says following the first round of funding PIC looked into where the largest ROI was seen. He says that seeing the best ROI’s on manufacturing they made the decision to move away form plant breeding. Greuel says this decision was rooted in the basis of there being a large amount of money and research poured into plant breeding in the past and that PIC’s funding could be better spent in innovating ingredient manufacturing.

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