Justin Trudeau the Prime Minister of Canada revealed a multi-million dollar funding plan that will have the country investing in the plant-based meat sector.
The money will be going to Merit Functional Foods based out of Winnipeg Canada where they specialized in creating vegan plant-based proteins.
Merit is using the infusion of cash from the Canadian government on their already well underway state of the art 94,000-square foot production facility.
The facility will produce the highest quality pea and canola proteins in the world when it is up and running.
When the new production facility is complete it will be not only the first but the only commercial facility that is capable of producing food-grade canola protein.
Canola protein is a new and growing segment of the plant-based protein segment.
“This facility is going to be key in redefining plant-based protein,” Merit Co-CEO Ryan Bracken told Business Wire.
“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.”
“As people around the world start eating more plant-based products, we have an opportunity to bring together Canadian innovation and Canadian crops, and a chance to create good, well-paying jobs,” Trudeau said.
“This facility will be a world leader in plant-based proteins and create good jobs in a fast-growing field,” he continued.
Merit expects their new facility to be operational by the end of this year and for it to create 80 new jobs in the area.
“The made-in-Canada agricultural technologies and innovations from Merit Functional Foods not only give us a competitive advantage in the global marketplace, they are creating jobs and adding value to our farmers’ commodities,” Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, said in a statement.
She added that the project “demonstrates our Government’s commitment to positioning Canada as a leader in production of plant proteins.”
The biggest drink and food company in the world Nestlé unveiled plans to source their plant-based proteins from the new Merit facility earlier this year.
As the international plant-based vegan meat market is growing it is expected to reach $35.54 billion by 2024 according to researchers so the Canadian government’s investment is smart.
According to the National Research Council Canada the countries plant-based food industry is growing rapidly and is expected to grow another 14 percent each year by 2024.
This accounts for up to a third of the country’s entire protein market. More than 40 percent of Canadians have adopted flexitarian eating habits, motivated by health and sustainability.
In order to meet the growing demand for plant-based proteins, the Canadian government announced a $150 million investment in plant-based protein farms in 2018.
The funds went towards promoting the research of plant-based agriculture.
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