The opportunity — and challenges — of supplying the Indo-Pacific region with Canadian plant protein

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Canada is a major global player in the trade of bulk commodities and animal protein, that’s clear. In addition, the increase in domestic processing of plant-based protein and pulse-based ingredients in the last five years has created more opportunities for processors to ship these types of products worldwide.

Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada, says that the same trends that have customers buying more livestock-based protein in the ASEAN nations in the Indo-Pacific region are also driving more demand for plant-based protein and ingredients.

The ASEAN region, made up of 10 countries including Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia, has over 675 million consumers. Greuel says this large population is transitioning to the middle class with more disposable income, and they spend more of that disposable income on food, and a disproportionate amount on protein.

Greuel adds that more customers in this region are also demanding products with sustainability aspects, too.

But does demand equal opportunity? There are several challenges yet to overcome if Canada is going to be a major supplier of plant-based food and food ingredients to the Indo-Pacific, including product education and use, relationship building, and staying focused on the products Canada can or will produce at scale. Here at home, there’s also the challenge of securing the investment required to continue to evolve and push the ingredient processing sector, Greuel says.

Listen on for the full discussion with Bill Greuel:

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