A leading processor of canola in Canada is investing C$30 million for a minority interest in the government-backed plant-based protein producer

International agribusiness and food company Bunge has invested C$30 million into Merit Functional Foods giving it a minority interest in the Winnipeg, Manitoba-based company.

Start-up Merit aims “to provide plant-based protein ingredients with unmatched purity and quality”.

Founded in 1818, St. Louis, Missouri-headquartered Bunge is experienced in sourcing, processing and supplying oilseed and grain products and ingredients, and is a leading processor of canola in Canada.

The investment will expedite the construction of Merit’s new plant-based protein production facility, where it will produce novel pea and canola protein ingredients. Merit stated that this will be the only commercial-scale facility capable of producing food-grade canola protein in the world.

Construction of the plant well under way and is on track to be fully operational by December. In June Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed a $100 million investment into the plant.

Merit’s co-chief executive Ryan Bracken said: “We’re excited to have a global partner like Bunge recognise 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.”

Date published: 2 September 2020

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