PBPC Hosts Bioeconomy Salon Dinner for Industry, Policy, Media Experts
By: Jessica Bowman, PBPC Executive Director
In early May, more than 15 leaders from the biobased industry joined PBPC at the National Press Club to discuss the future of the bioeconomy and share the role plant-based products play in advancing sustainable economic opportunities. Each course featured a topic of conversation for attendees to discuss – including the promise of the ag bioeconomy, challenges standing in the way, and solutions to leveraging its potential. By including guests from a broad cross-section of industry and governmental backgrounds, attendees were able to discuss the bioeconomy from a number of perspectives.
Danimer Scientific Vice President of Technology, Brad Rodgers, kicked the evening off by sharing insight on the potential of the industry to create new, well-paying jobs that help meet consumer demand for more sustainable products. Each table had the opportunity to discuss their own background in the field and give a bit more information on why growth will have a meaningful impact in their industry.
Next, I gave a brief overview of some of the challenges preventing more widespread adoption of plant-based products. From a lack of consumer awareness to ineffective means of tracking industry economic impacts, to inadequate end of life infrastructure, there are a number of barriers preventing the industry from thriving. Together, attendees discussed common themes they’ve experienced, along with different myths and misconceptions consumers face.
Justine Li, ADM’s Vice President of Global Strategic Partnership, Biosolutions and 2022 Chairwoman of the PBPC Board helped turn the conversation towards opportunities to leverage the ag bioeconomy with her closing remarks. Currently, the domestic biobased products industry adds over $470 billion of value to the US economy and supports 4.6 million jobs. While it expanded more than 27% in terms of value-added between 2013 and 2017, we must all work together and collaborate to ensure that it reaches its full potential.
It was exciting to see and hear the energy, interest, and enthusiasm across the room. I look forward to continued engagement on opportunities to realize the potential of the ag bioeconomy and plant-based products.