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25 by 2025: Pulse Canada’s New Demand Target (PCN Spring 2017) MAR 28 2017 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of Pulse Crop News.

Pulse Canada is aiming high to accelerate growth and generate significant new demand for pulses and pulse ingredients. The Pulse Canada Board of Directors recently set the “25 by 2025” target as part of the organization’s strategic planning process. The association’s focus will now include uniting the industry around the bold new goal.

The 25 by 2025 goal will aim to create demand in new use categories for 25 per cent of the Canadian pulse industry’s productive capacity by 2025. Snack foods, tortillas and breakfast cereals are just a few product categories that represent growth potential for pulse ingredients, which offer food manufacturers protein, fibre, slowly digestible starch and an unparalleled environmental sustainability story.

The demand target comes as Pulse Canada considers its sustainable growth strategy. The Canadian pulse industry continued to expand production in 2016 to meet strong demand with a 28 per cent increase in lentil production and a 51 per cent increase in pea production over the last year.

“Our traditional markets will always be a top priority for us and we’ll continue to invest into improving service and product quality for Canada’s long standing customers,” said Lee Moats, Chair of Pulse Canada and member of the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Board of Directors. “Pulse ingredients are also attracting a lot of attention from non-traditional markets, and we need to ensure that we sharpen our focus on that new demand in order to diversify our options and deliver the value we know that pulse ingredients can add to a wide range of new food products.”

Pulse Canada’s demand target, announced on Global Pulse Day (Jan. 18), proved timely as European ingredient company Roquette also revealed its plans to build a pea processing facility in Canada that day. Global Pulse Day was recognized across the globe during over 200 events in 63 countries, which generated over 36 million social media impressions.

“Global Pulse Day and the 2016 International Year of Pulses have been incredibly successful platforms that have helped create awareness for pulses and the contribution they make to human health and environmental sustainability,” Moats said. “We believe we can continue to build momentum and turn that awareness into increased demand and higher consumption.”

In 2016, the number of food products containing pulses launched in North America grew by approximately 30 per cent with the fastest growth coming from the snack foods category.

“Roquette’s announcement, along with other investments into value-added processing that have been made by Canadian companies and other foreign investors to date, is a strong signal that the industry is well positioned to serve an expanding food and ingredient market,” said Greg Cherewyk, COO of Pulse Canada.

Reformulating food products to include pulse ingredients can significantly increase their nutritional quality while lowering their environmental footprint. For example, a reformulation of traditional durum pasta to include 25 per cent lentil flour can increase fibre content by 100 per cent and protein content by 25 per cent while lowering its carbon footprint by up to 26 per cent.

“As we look ahead, the definition of food quality will include social indicators like health outcomes, environmental indicators like greenhouse gas emissions and economic indicators such as affordability,” Moats said. “Our journey to 25 by 2025 aligns well with the future of food and we’re looking forward to working with our partners at home and around the world to meet the needs of customers of today and customers of tomorrow.”