Merit Functional Foods reported construction of its 94,000-square foot production facility in Manitoba, Canada. The facility will produce the world’s highest purity and highest quality pea and canola protein, is well underway.
“This facility is going to be key in redefining plant-based protein,” Merit Co-CEO Ryan Bracken said. “It’s a flexible facility that will produce an unprecedented pea protein and the first canola protein available for use in foods and beverages. Both of these proteins will have functional and nutritional characteristics that will set them apart from other ingredients available on the market.”
“We are extremely appreciative of the instrumental support from the government and our other partners as we move one step closer to commercializing our state-of-the-art protein manufacturing facility,” Bracken said. “We're proud to help elevate Canada as one of the world's leaders in plant-based protein and sustainable food.”
Merit has secured a debt financing package from a consortium of lenders including; Export Development Canada, Farm Credit Canada, Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada, and CIBC. The funding will commercialize and expand production capacity to address the growing global demand for plant proteins.
In addition, the Canadian government announced financing of almost $100 million for Merit Functional Foods’ new Winnipeg facility. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau stated, “our government is contributing almost $100-million for the new Merit Functional Foods location in Winnipeg. This facility will be a world leader in plant-based proteins and will create good jobs in a fast-growing field. And by using 100 percent Canadian inputs, we will also support the farmers who produce canola and yellow peas used in Merit’s products.”
The company’s pea and canola will be sourced and grown in Western Canada and processed and manufactured in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Manitoba is the heart of Canada’s agricultural hubs. This, along with its capacity to support the project’s utilities requirements, makes the location a natural fit for the facility. Over the coming three years, Merit will create more than 175 new jobs for the community.
“We are pleased to be supporting Merit on their first commercial-scale project as they leverage their unique technology to bring innovative plant-based proteins to international markets,” said Carl Burlock, Executive Vice-President and Chief Business Officer at EDC. “We look forward to seeing the positive impacts that Merit has on the global food and beverage industry.”
"The made-in-Canada agricultural technologies and innovations from Merit Functional Foods not only give us a competitive advantage in the global marketplace, but they are also creating jobs and adding value to our farmers’ commodities,” said The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This is a very exciting project that demonstrates our Government’s commitment to positioning Canada as a leader in the production of plant proteins.”