By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
On Nov. 17, Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced an investment of more than $4.3 million to support Canada’s pulse and special crops farmers in meeting growing consumer demand for sustainable, high-quality plant-based protein.
Investments will support international marketing activities to find foreign buyers, improve performance of transportation networks and reduce the risks posed by international trade barriers. By increasing the market for Canadian-made pulse products, these investments will encourage more farmers to add the nitrogen-fixing crops into their rotations, thereby increasing residual nitrogen in the soil and reducing the need for synthetic nitrogen fertilizers for subsequent annual grain crops.
“This announcement is win-win,” Bibeau said. “On the one hand we are expanding markets for Canadian-made protein products, and on the other hand, we are encouraging farmers to plant more pulses which are a sustainable solution to soil and crop management.
“Now more than ever, consumers around the world are demanding sustainable, nutritious sources of plant protein and the Canadian pulse and other high protein crops industries continue to lead the way.”
An investment of more than $2.3 million will enable Pulse Canada to continue to develop its “25 by 25” strategy to have 25 per cent of pulse production in new markets by 2025. Pulse Canada will use the funding to promote the benefits of pulses and their ingredient derivatives to international food manufacturers and foodservice operators as a sustainable, value-added, healthy ingredient across a wide range for food sectors.
In addition, close to $1.5 million in funding will enhance the Ag Transport Coalition Railway Performance Measurement Program, an important asset for the grain sector. It 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.
A further $429,000 will help Pulse Canada assess and resolve barriers to international trade, including challenges created by the pandemic, and create more stability for exports.
The Canadian Special Crops Association (CSCA) is also receiving $127,944 to advance international opportunities for Canada’s pulse and special crops industry, which includes beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, canary seeds, buckwheat, sunflower seeds and mustard seeds. CSCA will build and maintain relationships with the global pulse and special crops trade networks and develop industry-to-industry advocacy efforts to resolve market access issues.