Minister Ng and plant protein sector leaders discuss global market opportunities

News release

June 10, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

A strong and vibrant agri-food and agri-tech ecosystem is critical to Canada’s recovery, long-term growth, and global competitiveness.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, met with business leaders from Canada’s plant protein sector for a roundtable discussion on global trade opportunities for Canadian agri-food products and the supports available to them. This virtual event was hosted by Protein Industries Canada (PIC) in partnership with Export Development Canada (EDC) as part of the Government of Canada’s Business, Economic and Trade Recovery (BETR) Team, comprised of EDC, the Business Development Bank of Canada, Global Affairs Canada, the Trade Commissioner Service and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

During the meeting, Minister Ng highlighted Canada’s leadership in providing the world with safe, healthy, and high-quality agricultural and agri-food products, including high-protein crops. She noted the need for Canada to support the agriculture and agri-food sectors because they contribute to Canada’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, create good middle class jobs, and add to Canada’s growth and prosperity.

Minister Ng also noted the global market potential for products from Canada’s growing agricultural and agri-food sector and the government supports available to help Canada’s protein industry boost exports and thrive well into the future. 


“Canadian agriculture and agri-food products, including plant-based protein products, are in high demand around the globe. With its world-leading supplies of protein crops, Canada is committed to supporting innovation in agri-tech and agri-food so businesses can thrive and grow globally. EDC and the BETR Team are vital to this approach in helping Canadian businesses succeed across Canada and grow around the world, owning the podium wherever they go.”

- The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

“EDC, like others, is seeing a global surge in demand for plant-based protein and Canada is perfectly poised to embrace the opportunity. The ongoing massive increase in the emerging market middle class will ensure strong growth well into the future, and as one of the world’s foremost producers, Canada is ideally situated to supply these fast-growing markets. Roundtable events like this help inform EDC and the Government of Canada on how we can continue to support the industry’s important export endeavours and remove barriers to new markets.”

- Peter Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist, EDC

“The increasing global demand for plant-based ingredients and food presents a massive opportunity for Canada. With the global market expected to be measured in the hundreds of billions, Canada can reach more than $25 billion in sales annually by 2035. The leadership demonstrated by the federal government in supporting this important sector will help accelerate Canada’s position, driving our economic recovery and allowing us to be at the forefront of the global plant-based food competition.”

- Bill Greuel, Chief Executive Officer, PIC

Quick facts

  • The agriculture and agri-food sector is a significant contributor to Canada’s economy. Canada’s agricultural exports totalled $74.8 billion in 2020, a 10.7% increase from 2019.

  • EDC is a Crown corporation that has been Canada’s export credit agency since 1944, facilitating the international business activities of Canadian companies, both large and small, in every industry across the country.

  • In its over 75 years, EDC has facilitated more than $1 trillion in export and investment activities. In 2020, EDC facilitated more than $5.6 billion in transactions in support of Canada’s key agriculture sector alone.

  • PIC is 1 of Canada’s 5 innovation superclusters. It has received $153 million in funding from the federal government to co-invest into areas of the economy that are considered to have significant growth opportunity.

  • PIC currently has 290 members from coast to coast and internationally, of which 64% are small and medium-sized enterprises.

  • PIC currently has 34 active projects and, along with industry, has invested more than $354 million in Canada’s plant protein ecosystem.

  • The BETR Team was created to foster greater collaboration and innovation for small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada, as part of a collaborative, cross-government model of support for Canadian businesses of all sizes.

Associated links


Alice Hansen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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