Protein Industries Canada (PIC) is announcing the Food Convergence Innovation (FCI) Canada – Food and Beverage Supply Chain Project.

The FCI-Canada Project will focus on creating a national, sector-wide platform with enterprise-to-enterprise connectivity capabilities, which will help strengthen Canada’s domestic food supply chain.

Linking food and beverage companies across the country, the project will make it easier to recover from COVID-19 and other emerging issues, as well as diversify Canada’s plant-based food, feed, and ingredients offerings through collaborative partnerships.

Food and beverage associations will build provincial and regional databases that will then be connected into a national network. The project builds on Conseil de la Transformation Alimentaire du Québec (CTAQ)’s existing Systeme Numerique Alimentaire Collaboratif (SNAC) collaboration platform, developed by Bivizio, which is currently in use in Quebec, as well as data science work conducted at the University of Ottawa.

The new national platform will help Canadian companies make connections across the value chain by allowing them to post and search for specific products, services, and partners within given geographic parameters. The platform will also evolve to be responsive to supply chain disruptions such as those associated with COVID-19.

“Canada’s Protein Industries Supercluster is bringing together companies of all sizes and academic institutions to create new possibilities for innovation and collaboration and promote bold new ideas in the agrifood sector,” says François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Through this project, the Supercluster is bringing together partners from all across the country to find innovative solutions to today’s challenges and make our food and beverage supply chain stronger and safer.”

The project will be led by the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics with a national consortium of Food and Beverage Canada, CTAQ, Food & Beverage Atlantic, Food and Beverage Ontario, Food & Beverage Manitoba, BC Food & Beverage, Bivizio, and the University of Ottawa.

Together, the organizations are investing $500,000 into the project, with PIC investing $2.1 million, for a total project value of $2.7 million.

“Improving our sector’s ability to both innovate and respond to emerging issues requires a collaborative, innovative solution in and of itself,” says Bill Greuel, CEO of PIC. “This digital platform will help connect the value chain across the country, from ingredient processors in the east, to food manufacturers on the west coast. And better yet, it will do so in a way that will improve the lives of Canadians, thanks to its ability to further strengthen our domestic supply chain and increase the selection of food products available across the country.”

The platform will also help the Canadian plant-based food, feed, and ingredients sector improve its international competitiveness by allowing companies to respond collaboratively and more easily to shifts in consumer demand.

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