Favourable Climate for Investment
Agri-food research and innovation require investment and support from a variety of sources. The federal government has a responsibility to encourage this through creating an attractive climate for investment.
Agri-food innovation is a key driver of economic growth, creating opportunities for Canada to meet various goals and targets, including climate change mitigation, nutritional security, and sustainability. Canadian agri-food research has enabled key innovations in canola, pulses, potatoes, wild blueberries and chilled pork – to name a few.
The federal government’s $950 million supercluster initiative recognized the role agri-food innovation plays in stimulating the economy. The Protein Industries Supercluster uses plant genomics and processing technology to increase the value of key Canadian crops, as well as satisfying growing markets for plant-based meat alternatives and new food products. Over the next 10 years, the Protein Industries Supercluster is expected to have an economic impact of over $4.5 billion and create more than 4,500 jobs.
Funding, however, is only one part of the equation. Too often Canadian innovation has been scooped up by players in other countries and has therefore failed to deliver the expected results in Canada. This is, in part, due to a lack of venture capital funding in the agri-food sector and a climate that makes it difficult for Canadian firms to compete internationally.
AIC believes that the federal government has a role to play in creating a favourable climate for private investment in agri-food innovation. Intelligent tax measures, support for venture capital funding and more will help create attractive conditions for future investment.