Just a few weeks after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canadian government would be investing $100 million into the development of new meatless proteins, the country is once again putting their money into plant-based. The western province of Alberta is set to receive a 2.6 million dollar infusion of federal funding to support the Food Processing Development Centre in Leduc.

This investment is meant to bolster the agricultural sector, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is set to take shape in the form of equipment to help Alberta companies seeking to develop new plant-based food products. 

Canada Bets on Plant-Based Producers

According to the announcement, Alberta has decided to hyperfocus on plant-based agricultural producers because "[these] foods represent a significant economic opportunity for western Canadian firms seeking to meet growing global and consumer demands for protein-rich foods that are healthy and environmentally sustainable."

"With Western Canada already producing high-protein pulse crops such as peas, lentils, and chickpeas, the goal of this initiative is to enable agri-food producers to turn these crops into higher-value ingredients or finished products before exporting them to markets around the globe."

Plant-Based Will Help Alberta Scale Up

"The wellbeing of all Canadians—physically, socially, and economically—begins with a safe food supply. Western Canada's farmers and agri-food businesses are essential to this, and we're here for them. This investment will help ensure Alberta's agri-food companies can access critical resources needed to develop new products and capitalize on new market opportunities for plant-based foods. Initiatives such as this are vital to enabling our agri-food companies to scale up, support good jobs, and ultimately ensure the security of the safe, nutritious food supply we all rely on," said Canada's Minister of Economic Development, Mélanie Joly in a statement.

Press Secretary Alexander Cohen says he expects this new equipment to be installed by the spring of 2022 and fully operational during the summer of the following year.