Partnership expanding work on National Index on Agri-Food Performance

Index will help Canada prove and improve upon sustainability across agriculture and agrifood industries

Regina, Saskatchewan, CANADA

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Feb. 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Protein Industries Canada announced a co-investment into the second phase of Canada’s National Index on Agri-Food Performance, alongside lead partners Pulse Canada and the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan, with the support of David McInnes, Coordinator of the National Index on Agri-Food Performance.

The National Index on Agri-Food Performance is focused on developing a set of sustainability indicators and metrics related to Canada’s agriculture and agrifood industries, which will help increase Canada’s competitiveness in the global market. The Index will shine a spotlight on the sustainable practices being utilized in the industry, while also helping address where improvements can be made.

“As Canadians and consumers seek food that has been produced and processed sustainably to put on their tables, Canada has everything needed to become a significant global leader,” explained the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “And through the creation of a National Index on Agri-Food Performance, we will ensure even more domestic and international opportunities for our sustainable, Canadian crops.”

“Innovation is key to the agricultural sector’s competitive advantage and long-term economic prosperity in Canada. With the ability to measure our sustainability efforts through the National Index on Agri-Food Performance, we will strengthen Canada’s reputation and competitiveness as a supplier of high quality food products into the future,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

In addition to Protein Industries Canada, Pulse Canada and GIFS, more than 75 organizations spanning the food system are collaborating to advance this work. This includes diverse representation not only from the agriculture and agrifood industry, but also from adjacent sectors such as financial services, innovation organizations, environmental NGOs, and federal and provincial governments. The partners are focused on showing how agrifood production and supply in Canada is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. Additionally, they are striving to ensure that sustainability is communicated to both consumers and trade partners, helping build trust and improve Canada’s national agrifood brand.

“Canada has a reputation for sustainable production and processing practices. Having a set of metrics and indicators that measures these practices on a consolidated basis across the agriculture and agrifood sector will allow us to further back up our sustainability claims, strengthening Canada’s reputation and global brand and increasing trust in our products,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “The ability to measure our sustainability efforts will help increase our competitiveness in the global market—particularly as we work to become a global leader in the production of plant-based ingredients and foods. Sustainability is an important distinguisher in this market, and this project will help further establish Canada as a leader in the area.”

Creating Canada’s first agrifood sustainability index involves tailoring a suite of globally recognized indicators that meet the needs of Canada’s agrifood context. The project also includes developing a series of papers to inform the index and policy implications. These actions will help present Canada’s sustainability credentials for the sector as a whole, including the plant-based foods and ingredients sector, improving Canada’s ability to meet the growing global demand for healthy, sustainable plant-based foods and ingredients.

A total of $659,000 has been committed to this phase of the project, with Protein Industries Canada committing $626,000. Project partners are committing the remainder and providing in-kind support.

“The world needs more of Canada’s vision for modern, sustainable agriculture,” Pulse Canada President Greg Cherewyk said. “This project gives Canadian farmers and the entire value chain the tools they need to quantify their sustainability performance through real data, ensuring the market is appropriately compensating our industry for the positive impact it has on the environment.”

“We know that Canada is one of the largest and most sustainable producers of food; however, we don’t have all the metrics to prove it or to even improve upon it,” GIFS Chief Executive Officer Steven Webb said. “This project that is a result of the National Index on Agri-Food Performance partnership will give us the data and the transparent process to measure how well we are doing on the sustainable production and processing of food, and give consumers at home and abroad the added and justifiable confidence in our agrifood sector.”

“Developing Canada’s first agrifood sustainability index should become the country’s signature response for a society and marketplace that increasingly values transparency and accountability for how food is produced, processed and sold,” said David McInnes, coordinator of the index project. “The partners want Canada to be known here and abroad as the trusted source of food.”

This is Protein Industries Canada’s 34th project announcement, and the ninth under their capacity building stream. Together with industry, Protein Industries Canada has committed more than $451 million to Canada’s plant-based food, feed and ingredients ecosystem.

Media may contact:

Miranda Burski
Protein Industries Canada
Regina, SK 

About Pulse Canada

Pulse Canada is the national association representing growers, traders and processors of Canadian pulses (dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas), proudly leading the future of healthy, sustainable food through the growth of Canada’s pulse industry.

About the Global Institute for Food Security

The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan works with partners to discover, develop and deliver innovative solutions for the production of globally sustainable food. Founded by Nutrien, the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan (USask), GIFS is agriculture’s innovation catalyst, connecting the agrifood ecosystem, advancing innovation and bridging the gap to commercialization to deliver resilient and sustainable food security for all stakeholders.

Learn more about GIFS at

About the National Index on Agri-food Performance

A diverse coalition of more than 75 private and public partners is working together to develop Canada’s first agri-food sustainability index ( The current phase of work will conclude in May 2022 and will help enable a pilot of the Index (“version 1.0”) to be launched in late 2022.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

A photo of a farmer in a field with a tablet, with text and logos overlaid on top