Momentum in cellular agriculture is advancing globally; now is the time for Canada to capitalize on an up to $12.5 billion emerging way to make food and create 142,000 jobs.
Toronto, Nov 23, 2021 – Today, at the 2021 Canadian Science Policy Conference, Ontario Genomics\’ President and CEO, Dr. Bettina Hamelin, announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind Canadian report: Cellular Agriculture – Canada\’s $12.5 Billion Opportunity in Food Innovation.
Cellular agriculture presents a significant global opportunity to diversify food production while complementing existing traditional production approaches. Cellular agriculture is underpinned by engineering biology as a platform technology to create food products and materials for numerous sectors in new and sustainable ways.
“Cellular agriculture products are already on the grocery shelves in several countries around the world,” said Dr. Bettina Hamelin. “The response has been growing consumer demand and huge industry momentum for these new and innovative products made in sustainable ways. With all the right ingredients, Canada is well-positioned to act on this window of opportunity to step up and enhance resilient food supply chains, at home and abroad.”
Led by Ontario Genomics and developed and written in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley, this report features extensive stakeholder input and an economic analysis, providing critical considerations for Canada\’s emerging cellular agriculture industry.
“It is reasonable to expect that the market for cellular agriculture products will be in the billions over the next ten years, and with exponential growth, even in the tens of billions,” said Dr. Michael von Massow, Associate Professor, University of Guelph. “As consumers in Canada and beyond diversify their food choices, Canadian-made cellular agriculture products will both lessen Canada\’s dependence on imports of these goods and increase our capacity to export to the world.”
Based on stakeholder consultations, as well as a review of literature and publicly available information, the report identifies three inter-connected actionable opportunities for Canada to capitalize on this rapidly expanding and high-potential global market expected to approach US$100 billion in the next decade.
To achieve success in Canadian-made cellular agriculture, Canada should develop a national vision and strategy for this emerging industry in the near term. Canada should also develop a clear and transparent regulatory framework, quickly building on existing processes to evaluate and approve cellular agriculture products while maintaining its current rigorous regulatory process and food safety standards. Providing supporting mechanisms for research and commercial development should be prioritized to incentivize domestic research, innovation, training, and company creation.
“To compete in this multi-billion-dollar global market, Canadian entrepreneurs need support towards commercialization of their cellular agriculture technologies and to attract venture capital funding,” said Alison Sunstrum, CEO and Founder, CNSRV-X Inc. “This is one of few emerging sectors that could create an entirely new market. To thrive, companies need access to capital, infrastructure, mentorship and talent.”
By taking action on the priorities outlined in this report, Canada has an opportunity to diversify and grow its food and agriculture sector, become a leader in the new global landscape, meet sustainability and food security goals, and reap the benefits from new global economic markets.