March 6, 2018 Kris Cherewyk
Protein Industries Canada: A New Venture in Canadian Agriculture
Canadian agriculture is known for its diversity, yet shares a common theme of technological innovation across all sectors. It is the commitment to advancement through research and investment which has allowed the industry to gain a worldwide reputation for excellence. As global demand for food increases, further resources will be required to meet the challenges of an exponentially growing population expected to hit 9.8 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations.
On February 15, 2018, the Canadian government unveiled $950 million in funding for its Innovation Superclusters Initiative with the intention of promoting economic growth and employment opportunities throughout the country. One of the groups chosen to receive funding is Protein Industries Canada (PIC), a consortium of over 120 western-Canadian based organizations, with both direct and indirect involvement in the agriculture industry. The mandate of PIC is to increase Canada’s global footprint in plant-based protein products through both exports and new product innovations through crops such as pulses, hemp, oats wheat, canola and flax. Once fully operational, PIC is expected to contribute $4.5 billion annually to Canada’s GDP with the added benefit of diversifying the Canadian agricultural market throughout the supply chain.
PIC funding announcement in Regina (courtesy PIC website)
The Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada (AMC), which represents over 300 agricultural equipment companies and suppliers, is one of many groups providing key support to this initiative. Recently, AMC president, Leah Olson, wrote an opinion column for the Hill Times, Canada’s political weekly news publication, regarding the group’s involvement in PIC. In the article, Olson describes Canada as a world leader in agricultural equipment manufacturing with $1.8 billion in annual exports to over 150 countries worldwide. Part of this success has been the commitment of AMC’s member companies to utilizing the latest technology which, combined with ingenuity and business acumen, has resulted in equipment capable of handling the various challenges of a Canadian climate. Vaderstad Industries Inc. CEO, Nigel Jones, is a member of the Board of Directors for AMC, as well as Chair of the Provincial Chapters for Saskatchewan.
AMC’s Board of Directors (Vaderstad Industries CEO Nigel Jones front row, first on the left, courtesy AMC website)
To achieve PIC’s goals of advancing and diversifying the Canadian agriculture industry while promoting economic growth, growers will require farm equipment capable of utilizing the latest advancements in biotechnology. As a company founded in 1992 with the idea of maximizing the potential of seeded crops, Vaderstad Industries (formerly Seed Hawk) has been a leader in the equipment manufacturing sector with several technological firsts over the years, such as independent seed/fertilizer openers, Sectional Control® technology and the iCon® Wireless Control system. These innovations have allowed farmers to grow higher yields and higher quality crops by maximizing the potential of their inputs. Through its membership in the AMC, Vaderstad Industries will be looked upon for continued leadership in equipment research and development for years to come.
It is an exciting time to be a part of Canadian agriculture with the lofty goals and initiatives that PIC will be advancing. Vaderstad Industries is excited to play a role in meeting the expectations of utilizing agriculture to not only feeding a hungry planet, but also provide sustainable economic opportunity. Western Canada, historically, was built on agriculture and with PIC’s help will continue to build a healthier, more prosperous society for all.
For more information, visit the Protein Industries Canada website: https://www.proteinindustriescanada.ca/