Merit Functional Foods announced a new partnership with Bunge Ltd. that will bolster its mission to provide plant-based protein ingredients with unmatched purity and quality.
Bunge, a leading international agribusiness and food company, has made a $30 million (Canadian) capital investment in Winnipeg, Man.-based Merit, giving the global ingredient supplier a minority interest.
The partnership will expedite construction of Merit's state-of-the-art plant-based protein production facility in Winnipeg, where it will produce novel pea and canola protein ingredients with exceptional functional and nutritional values, according to the announcement. It will be the only commercial-scale facility capable of producing food-grade canola protein in the world.
Construction is well underway on the 94,000 sq. ft. plant, which is on track to be fully operational by December 2020.
“We're excited to have a global partner like Bunge recognize our mission and assist us in accelerating our plans and path to launch,” Merit co-chief executive officer Ryan Bracken said. “Bunge also holds a deep knowledge of international commodity markets, which will help reinforce our canola business with customers globally.”
As the demand for plant-based foods and beverages — including dairy and meat alternatives — increases rapidly, Merit said its product portfolio of pea and canola protein ingredients supports the growing need for highly functional plant-based applications with exceptional taste.
As one of the leading processors of canola in Canada, Bunge has strong origination expertise and will supply Merit with critical inputs.
Established in 2019, Merit is committed to providing the market with high-quality protein ingredients and blends for plant-based protein.
Bunge sources, processes and supplies oilseed and grain products and ingredients globally. Founded in 1818 and headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., Bunge has 24,000 employees worldwide at more than 350 port terminals, oilseed processing plants, grain facilities and food and ingredient production and packaging facilities.