A new partnership between the UK and Canada to boost the development and commercialisation of plant-based food has been initiated after high-level talks between the two countries. Innovate UK, UK’s national innovation agency. is partnering with Protein Industries Canada (PIC), an industry-led not-for-profit organization created to position Canada as a global source of high-quality plant protein and plant-based co-products. The partnership’s initial activities include making initial introductions between companies and stakeholders from both sides. 

Following talks in the first week of June 2023 in Ottawa, Canada, involving UK Science Minister George Freeman and Canada’s Minister of Science, Innovation and Industry, Francois-Phillipe Champagne, a new agreement has been reached to foster deeper collaboration on science and innovation between the UK and Canada. Canada’s substantial plant-based protein production will enable UK companies to obtain the ingredients they need to develop healthy, sustainable, and vegan-friendly foods.

Dr Katrina Hayter, executive director of Healthy Living and Agriculture Domain at Innovate UK, said, “Our vision is to enable people to live longer, healthier lives, and we can achieve this by transforming our food system into one that is more productive, sustainable and resilient. Having the opportunity to learn and collaborate with counterparts in Canada is vital for ensuring that technology, practices and sustainability benefits continue to develop, and this partnership represents a landmark moment in bringing the expertise of both nations together in the plant-based foods space. We look forward to supporting new connections and collaborations as the partnership develops, to drive the development and adoption of new technologies across the sector, and enabling the transition to net zero food systems.”

Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada, said that as Canada develops its national ecosystem, they are eager to work with “like-minded countries” who share the same commitment to growing the plant-based food sector.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.