Plant-based Company Gets $100M to Open New Plant in Winnipeg

The Government of Canada announced Monday that Merit Functional Foods has closed close to $100 million in financing to open a new plant-based protein plant in Winnipeg.

The company will construct a commercial-scale canola protein extraction facility to produce plant proteins that are superior in solubility, flavour, and purity. This will be the world’s first facility with the capability to produce food-grade canola protein ready and safe for human consumption. In addition, 100% of the plant’s inputs will come from Canadian producers.

The plant will be fully operational in December 2020 and will create 80 new jobs.

In terms of funding, the government will provide:

  • A $10M repayable contribution from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriInnovate Program;
  • $25M in debt financing from Farm Credit Canada;
  • $55M in debt financing from Export Development Canada (EDC); and
  • $9.2M from the Protein Industries Canada supercluster.

“This project is yet another great example of how collaboration is helping Canada further solidify its reputation as a global leader in plant proteins,” said Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains. “Our co-investment with the Protein Industries supercluster has helped Merit commercialize a new processing technology that will give Canadians and export markets better tasting plant-based protein alternatives.”

The Protein Industries Canada supercluster is an industry-led nonprofit that was created with government and private support to position Canada as a global leader in the plant protein industry. According to its website, this global market is expected to reach $14.8B by 2023 and human consumption of this type of protein is projected to nearly double in the next five years.

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