Protein Industries Canada has announced a co-investment in a project that will improve data use within Canada’s agriculture and agrifood sector.

The project is led by the Enterprise Machine Intelligence and Learning Initiative (EMILI) in collaboration with the Alberta Data Institute (ADI), a program under Alberta Innovates, as well as a number of other participating organizations.

The EMILI Data Initiative addresses data literacy knowledge gaps and works to better understand important issues arising from the increasing use of data in the agrifood sector, such as data ownership, standardization and privacy.

“Data is essential in driving innovation in the Canadian agriculture and agrifood industry. This project is a great example of how better coordination and cooperation will position Canada as a world leader in the global plant-based food, feed and ingredients ecosystem. This partnership will strengthen our agricultural production and lead to a more sustainable future,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

The project will focus on four areas: using hands-on technology demonstration to explore the ability to share data along the value chain; researching data ownership, data privacy, and interoperability and standards for agrifood data; developing data literacy training programs for producers, technologists and others working along the food value chain; and creating an advisory working group to provide oversight and direction for next steps. Each area will advance the project’s overall goal of strengthening the Canadian agriculture and agrifood sector’s data ecosystem.

“Improving the way our sector uses data will go a long way toward helping satisfy consumer demands,” said Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel. “With the right data systems in place, consumers will be able to trace their food from farm to fork—including its positive sustainability story. This project will help bring us closer to where the sector needs to be to make that a reality.”

To deliver this project, EMILI will work in collaboration with a number of external organizations, including the following:

- Assiniboine Community College;
- The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN);
- Enns Brothers;
- Farm Credit Canada (FCC);
- G3;
- The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN);
- Merit Functional Foods;
- Pulse Canada; and
- Saskatchewan Polytechnic

A total of $903,000 is being invested into the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing $438,000 and the project participants together investing $465,000.

This marks Protein Industries Canada’s 23rd project announcement.

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