Finding growth areas in the health sector and capitalizing on increasing concern for the environment are among the five key elements contained in a new vision and strategy document recently released by the Canadian pulse industry.
Other elements include building on core strengths such as breeding and agronomy, reducing access barriers and serving existing markets.
Building on Success – The Canadian Pulse Industry also lays out a goal of making Canada the world’s most respected pulse producer and food-ingredient nation by 2013.
The document, released at the end of February, is now before grower groups across Canada asking for further comment and input so that it will best reflect their priorities and direction for future activities at Pulse Canada, said spokesman and CEO for Pulse Canada Gordon Bacon.
The board will meet to review the document at the end of March.
The future focus is also contingent on what funding becomes available through industry and government sources.
“I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to have similar kinds of relationships with growers, the trade and government all working together to address several or all of the parts of the strategy,” Bacon said.
The industry’s Pulse Innovation Project, begun in spring of 2005 and funded through a major science and innovation investment of $3.8 million from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, is now complete.
Researchers reported on their findings into the health benefits derived from pulse foods during a pulse symposium held in Toronto last month. Research into food product innovation was discussed.
Researchers have found eating pulses can be beneficial to overall health by helping combat chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity – all of which are rising globally.
Retailers, food companies and restaurants have begun to show interest in using pulses as a food and feed ingredient.
Expanded pulse production can also make for a healthier planet because pulses fix their own nitrogen and produce less than half the greenhouse gas emissions of other crops.
Pulse Canada is a national association representing pulse growers, processors and traders. [email protected]