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Canada’s leadership in plant-based food and ingredients was on display to the world this month as Toronto played host to global leaders in plant-based food and ingredients. Plant Forward—put on by Protein Industries Canada, Pulse Canada and Plant-Based Foods of Canada—displayed Canada’s strengths as a supplier of plant-based ingredients with a focus on innovation to meet evolving consumer expectations. 

“One of Canada’s best-kept secrets is our strength in plant-based ingredients and food. Plant Forward vaulted Canada onto the international stage, showcasing our strength and commitment to innovation,” CEO of Protein Industries Canada Bill Greuel said. “To attract leaders from around the world to Canada is a testament to the respect—and promise—Canada offers to the world in the reliable supply of  healthy and nutritious plant-based foods and ingredients.”

The conference welcomed 250 delegates from 11 countries and displayed global leaders in plant-based foods such as Suzy Amis Cameron, Murad Al-Katib, Dan Magliocco and Adam Grogan. The event displayed Canada’s strengths in plant-based food, feed and ingredients from primary production of high-protein crops such as peas and lentils, to the country’s integrated supply chain that allows ingredient processing to happen near production, reducing food miles and improving sustainability. Plant Forward also highlighted the importance of collaboration among ecosystem players, emphasizing the role plant-based food can play in improving the health and nutrition of food products through collaboration with those in the bakery, meat, dairy and beverage sectors.

Canada has seen explosive growth in plant-based foods and ingredients, with hundreds of millions of dollars invested in processing infrastructure in Canada in the past five years, positioning Canada to be a global leader in ingredient manufacturing. Food processors are now working to incorporate those ingredients into new plant-based food products helping meet the growing global consumer demand.

“At Plant Forward, we saw on display the very best of Canadian ingenuity and climate-focused thinking,” executive director Plant-Based Foods of Canada Leslie Ewing said. “Canadian plant-based food companies showed how they are bringing innovation to bear in every part of our modern food supply. We heard that when we find ways to work together and integrate our efforts, this fast-growing industry will deliver an even greater impact for Canada and the world.”

It is expected that the plant-based food sector will contribute $25 billion annually to Canada’s economy by 2035 supported by 17,000 jobs. Since Protein Industries Canada was created in 2017, nearly half a billion dollars have been invested into accelerating innovation in Canada’s plant-based food and ingredient sector.

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