Dot-connecting and investments into value-added processing — a LIVE! Q&A with Bill Greuel

Episodes:

Bill Greuel of Protein Industries Canada joins Shaun Haney for today’s LIVE! to talk about increasing ingredient manufacturing and food processing capacity in western Canada.

Don’t miss the LIVE! weekdays at 1 pm M/3 pm E on your favourite social media platform!

SUMMARY

  • Presentation to the standing committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food last week
  • Questions to Greuel from members of parliament? Interprovincial trade barriers, export market opportunities
  • 2.3 million are employed in Agriculture and Agri-Food. Second biggest contributor to GDP
  • Challenges are around the perception of agriculture; the idea that it’s overalls and pitchforks
  • Everyone seems to ask: how do we get the government to really, truly listen?
  • Honing in on making the case better and stronger. Showing tangible steps towards delivering on investments
  • Are we doing our best to putting the “Barton Report” into action? Yes, and no.
  • $153 million investment by the government into the ag sector
  • Need a lot of capital to float into the ag sector. Industry has to step up too
  • PIC supercluster objective: grow the value-added processing sector in western Canada. No longer ship raw commodities. Instead, value-added ingredients and someday end-consumer products.
  • Crop production is steadily increasing in western Canada. If we start value-added processing, we’re still going to need ports, rail-lines, etc.
  • Value-added processing will help insulate our economy from trade disruptions
  • Lags in science and innovation? Investments just aren’t up to par compared to other countries. We’re behind
  • Long-term investment chunk has to come from private sector
  • “Dot-connector”; the idea of putting two companies together in a research project is more like a 1 + 1 = 3 approach
  • Take the breeding company and put them together with processors, can make a feedback loop to improving that product
  • Why do we need an entity like PIC to distribute these funds?
  • Collaboration is really easy to say and hard to do
  • Protein isolates from canola and pea, value chain producing consumer packaged goods at the end, but supplied and manufactured all around Winnipeg
  • 25 projects in the hopper, over 80 concepts that were submitted
  • How do you judge success of the project? Five-year time frame, then a long-term measurement
  • Want to see companies collaborating and acting differently
  • Announcement coming tomorrow! (The 14th project announcement)
  • Intellectual property, how is that handled by PIC?
  • Does PIC ever get phone calls asking “How do you do this?”
  • Is the PIC on track for funding its projects and fulfilling its objectives?
  • What Bill’s learned in the two years on the job, is that there’s no silver bullet.
  • Processing capacity is going to be built within the next decade. Future $85 to $130 billion dollar industry in alternatives to meat

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