Murad Al Katib: Lentils and the Future of Food

Murad Al Katib is a Canadian entrepreneur changing the world through his company, AGT Foods. Al Katib saw tremendous potential in the market for Canadian grown pulses – otherwise known as lentils, chickpeas, and peas.

While pulses might not seem sexy, they are an incredibly nutritious, affordable (and some would say, delicious) food that can feed the world affordably. Al Katib has won numerous awards for his phenomenally successful bean business, including, most recently, the EY Worldwide Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Murad Al Katib began his business in 2001, and it has exploded in the years since. AGT foods now owns 47 Manufacturing facilities in 5 different countries, and has become the largest business of its kind operating in the world  today.

In 1981, farmers in Saskatchewan only grew 85,000 acres of pulses. Fast forward today, and producers are growing about 3.8 million acres of the crop. His company now sells half of the world’s lentils and peas, and they’re working on gaining similar market share with chickpeas and fava beans.

As Al Katib stated in an interview with the Financial Times, food insecurity is a major threat to world peace:

“When I look at the emerging markets of the world . . . you know a basic building block of civil society is actually available food. A baby is hungry, they cry. A young man is hungry, they actually get angry. It’s civil unrest. It’s war”

Al Katib sees vegetarianism as the diet of the future. Lentils and other plant-based proteins requires far fewer resources, and are the key to feeding a hungry planet. As he stated in his 2017 interview with the Financial Times “In order to meet our food targets in the future, we need to create 2 billion vegetarians.” It’s incredibly exciting to see that entrepreneurs are truly recognizing the power of legumes like the humble lentil. Thanks to Murad Al Katib, we hopefully will see much higher consumption of legumes in the future.

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