Canada is aiming to corner the global market for plant-based protein with an investment of $153 million from a Protein Industries Canada Supercluster established this year by the federal government. Three of the country’s provinces—Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba—are already some of the world’s biggest producers of high-protein pulses such as peas and lentils. These provinces could get a boost as global demand for plant-based proteins—valued at $8 billion in 2017—is projected to nearly double over the next five years, according to non-partisan think-tank Canada West Foundation (CWF). “Unlike other superclusters, this one is not aspirational,” CWF director, trade and investment policy Carlo Dade said. “Our goal is total world domination.” The supercluster is intended to fund innovation in Canada’s plant-based food sector, and is an initiative that was chosen over another supercluster proposal focused on animal farming. “We could truly dominate,” James Szarko, president and CEO of Calgary-based Botaneco, which extracts proteins, oils, and fibers from canola, safflower, sunflower, and hemp. The protein supercluster aims to create 4,500 new jobs and contribute $4.5 billion to the country’s GDP within 10 years.
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