By Jean-Paul McDonald
Protein Industries Canada has revealed a promising future for the country's agriculture, pointing to a significant financial gain by refining the way we handle our produce. Their report, 'The Road to $25 Billion,' revises the 2021 plan, highlighting the crucial changes needed for Canada to capitalize on a $25 billion yearly boon through enhanced processing of ingredients, foods, and biological products.
The world's changing fast, with climate issues, geopolitical strife, rising competition, and a booming population. "Keeping things the same isn't working," says Bill Greuel, the CEO of Protein Industries Canada. "We need resilient economic growth areas, and ingredient manufacturing is our golden ticket."
Despite its vast potential, Canada's agri-food sector has been overlooked as a growth engine. At present, our foreign partners buy our raw materials and turn them into high-value goods, often selling them back to us. By processing more at home, Canada can tap into this lucrative cycle.
Greuel compares this to the evolution of electric vehicles (EVs). Like the mineral-rich lands that supply EV batteries, our fertile fields are ripe for producing more than just raw crops—they can yield high-value processed goods.
Investing in this vision isn't just about profits; it's about building stronger communities, slashing global food emissions, and ensuring Canada has a secure food supply chain. It means local job creation, with up to 15 new plants and 17,000 jobs, and reinforces our standing in the world's food economy.
The Canadian government's support, including a recent $350 million investment, has put the spotlight on the industry. But according to Greuel, to keep our edge, we need to act now. With $150 million in fresh federal funds and over $100 million in upcoming investments, Protein Industries Canada is poised to lead the charge.
For students looking into the future of Canada’s food industry, understanding this strategy is key to seeing how agriculture can be more than just farming—it's about innovation, economy, and the environment all at once. The full report is a treasure map for those ready to dig into the rich potential of Canadian soil.