The third annual Manitoba Protein Summit is taking place virtually this week Tuesday and Wednesday.

The major industry conference has attracted more than 650 attendees from around the world, with “Sustainable Protein Food Systems” as this year’s theme.

Manitoba Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson says Manitoba’s quest to become a global leader in the development and production of sustainable protein has gained further momentum through Project Accelerating Sustainable Protein Impact and Results (ASPIRE), an industry-led, concerted and co-ordinated team effort toward advancing the Manitoba Protein Advantage Strategy.

“This plan represents tremendous opportunity for our province’s industry and economic future,” said Johnson. “Our government appreciates the shared expertise that has led to this pivotal development.”

The Manitoba Protein Consortium, an industry committee appointed by cabinet, has transitioned the strategy from a government-led initiative to an industry-led strategy through the establishment of a strategic advisory body of 18 industry leaders to lead the implementation of Project ASPIRE.

“The Manitoba Protein Advantage Strategy was released in 2019 to sustainably grow Manitoba’s plant and animal protein industry through innovation and value chain collaboration,” added Johnson. “To date, Manitoba’s protein industry has attracted new investments valued at $753 million, creating 840 jobs and surpassing 50 per cent of the strategy’s $1.5-billion target in new investments through 2025.”

David Wiens, the chair of Dairy Farmers of Manitoba and Chris Anderson, the chief technology officer at Protein Industries Canada, were appointed to co-chair the strategic advisory body.