The federal government has announced more than $4.3 million in funding to support Canada’s pulse and special crop industry in an effort to meet growing consumer demand for plant-based protein.

The funding, announced by Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau on November 17, will support international marketing activities to find foreign buyers, improve performance of transportation networks, and reduce the risks posed by international trade barriers, the government says.

Pulse Canada will receive more than $2.3 million for continued development of its “25 by 25” strategy to have 25 per cent of pulse production in new markets by 2025. The organization will also receive $429,000 to assess and resolve barriers to international trade, including challenges created by the pandemic.

“Canada leads the world in the production and exportation of sustainable, nutritious pulses and pulse ingredients. Today’s investments from the Government of Canada in diversifying markets, exploring new uses, expanding market access and ensuring timely and predictable rail service will help the Canadian pulse industry capitalize on the increasing global demand for sustainable products while growing our economy and improving our environment,” says Corey Loessin, chair of Pulse Canada, in a press release.

The Canadian Special Crops Association (CSCA) will use $127,944 to advance international opportunities for Canada’s pulse and special crops industry, which includes beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, canary seeds, buckwheat, sunflower, and mustard.

The remaining nearly $1.5 million in funding will be used for the Ag Transport Coalition Railway Performance Measurement Program. The program provides individual shippers with insight on supply chain performance and a common data platform to find transportation solutions to effectively and efficiently get their products to market, the government says.

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