The investment from Bunge will expedite Merit Functional Foods’ new protein extraction facility in Manitoba, Canada
Merit Functional Foods has received C$30m ($23m) investment from Bunge, an American agri and food business company.
The investment is expected to expedite the construction of Merit Functional Foods’ new plant-based protein production facility in Manitoba, Canada. Merit had started the facility’s construction in June this year, where high-quality pea and canola protein ingredients will be produced.
Claimed to be the only commercial-scale facility that can produce food-grade canola protein in the world, the plant is expected to be fully operational by this December.
According to Merit Functional Foods, the demand for plant-based foods and beverages including dairy and meat alternatives, has been growing rapidly.
The company’s product portfolio of pea and canola protein ingredients will support the growing demand for highly functional and taste-forward plant-based ingredients.
Merit Functional Foods to leverage Bunge’s expertise in canola processing
The company also plans to take advantage of Bunge, which is one of the leading processors of canola in Canada and through the partnership the company will supply Merit with the necessary inputs.
Merit Functional Foods co-CEO Ryan Bracken said: “We’re excited to have a global partner like Bunge recognize our mission and assist us in accelerating our plans and path to launch.
“Bunge also holds a deep knowledge of international commodity markets which will help reinforce our canola business with customers globally.”
In June, Merit stated that Manitoba, which is at the heart of Canada’s agricultural hubs, is a well-suited location for the facility. In the coming three years, the company expects to create over 175 jobs locally.
The new facility is being built with a debt financing package from a consortium of Export Development Canada, Farm Credit Canada, Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).