After three years of operation, the Plant Protein Alliance of Alberta (PPAA) is shutting its doors.
The organization’s goal was to “raise awareness and create connections to help realize the endless opportunities the plant protein and plant-ingredient industry offer Alberta,” but didn’t receive funding from the provincial government for the current fiscal year, and therefore can’t continue their work.
Allison Ammeter, grain farmer and board chair of PPAA, recently joined Shaun Haney to talk about why Alberta seems to be going in a different direction, and what that means for plant protein value added processing in the province.
Ammeter says the organization is confused, as the funding they were told they had was backed off at the last minute; which many say is contradictory to what the province needs to fill the void in value-added processing.
Listen to Ammeter and Shaun Haney for the full interview, story continues below:
Specifically, the objective of PPAA was to “connect, learn, and share” — connecting everyone within the plant-based food ecosystem, including entrepreneurs, processors, suppliers, investors, municipalities and economic development groups, and even government.
“We were trying to connect everybody to who they needed, so everybody succeeded,” says Ammeter. Knowledge was also shared, not only nationally, but also internationally, through networking sessions and webinars.
PPAA received notice in the first week of March that the funding was there, and then after back-and-forth with the government for the application, the funding was pulled on March 31. The answer as to why PPAA’s funding was cut was due to other organizations’ funding demands.
PPAA has looked into other funding models, but due to the small size of membership (150 members), and the small size of the plant-protein business in Alberta, it’s hard to find the $250,000 needed for their small operating costs — PPAA is run virtually, has a volunteer board, and only has a CEO and one communications staff member.