The province’s second Manitoba Protein Summit kicked off today, a virtual gathering of key agricultural, food-processing and academic stakeholders engaged in accelerating the province’s economic position through plant and animal protein industry development, Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen announced today.

“We have made great progress on our protein strategy in the last 18 months, to position Manitoba to lead Canada in sustainable protein industry growth that benefits our producers, processors and our economy,” said Pedersen. “By having leaders in the industry gather here at the Manitoba Protein Summit it allows us to continue looking forward and exploring next steps to keep our momentum going.”

The three-day virtual event is bringing together some of the top global experts in sustainable protein and innovation in the field. Keynote speakers include:
• Alison Cairns, United Nations – how to meet the increased demand for food in a sustainable manner;
• Jo-Ann McArthur, Nourish Food Marketing – market and consumer insights for protein; and
• Abby Lyall, Big Idea Ventures – attracting investment in protein and innovation technologies.

Other organizations including Wageningen University and Research, the Good Food Institute, EY Parthenon, HyLife Foods, Roquette Canada, University of Manitoba, Maple Leaf Foods, Viresco Solutions and Cargill Protein will also be participating in panel discussions.

In the past 18 months, Manitoba has attracted investments of over $680 million in the protein industry and has created almost 600 new employment opportunities. Investments have been made in novel, innovative protein products ranging from protein isolates and flours from peas, fava beans and other pulse crops and canola and oats, as well as blended plant and animal protein products, pork and arctic char products.

“The growing demand for protein puts Manitoba in a strong position to not only process the raw commodity, but also incorporate the manufactured ingredients in further value-added consumer products,” said Pedersen. “Manitoba is more than our strong crop and livestock industries – we are home to cutting-edge food processing and world-class research infrastructure in the agri-food space.”

To learn more about Manitoba’s work in protein innovation, visit:
www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/protein/index.html.

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