A Western Canadian Ag project aimed at improving the taste and quality of plant-based proteins around the world has received a boost from the federal government.

The feds invested $9.5 million into the Protein Industries Supercluster, a group of Manitoba-based companies. Private donations were also given to the group, totalling $19.1 million in funds, to try and improve the protein industry in the country.

The Prime Minister’s special advisor for the Prairies, Jim Carr said: “As consumers become more and more discriminating in what they put into their tummies, this is going to move that needle significantly.”

The investment will source close to 20,000 acres worth of canola and peas grown in the Prairies, according to Merit Functional Foods, one of the companies in on the project.

They added that the money is expected to over 100,000 metric tonnes of the protein products within 5 years.

Carr said that this kind of project is a prime example of how Canada is developing the kind of products that are necessary for the rest of the world.

“This protein supercluster serves as an anchor for innovation, for job growth, and for job creation that will help Canada capture premium markets for agri-business as we truly feed the world,” said Carr. “We are letting the rest of the world know that Canada is a global leader in the plant-protein market.”

Carr added that the investment is expected to create increase the country’s GDP and create more than 50,000 jobs.