Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada, June 19, 2020 – Roquette, a global leader in plant-based ingredients and a pioneer of new plant proteins that is building the world’s largest pea protein plant in Portage la Prairie, will collaborate with Protein Industries Canada on a collaborative R&D project to help advance Canada’s plant protein ecosystem.
Roquette, Protein Industries Canada and Prairie Fava, supplier of high-quality, healthy fava beans, fava ingredients and fava consumer products, will invest $19.2 million in new technologies and research along with efforts to build capacity in Canada’s growing plant protein sector. Together the consortium will work to address nutrition and development challenges for pea and fava on the Prairies, while also exploring the utility of blended pea-fava protein products.
The pea portion of the research will start with evaluation of pea varieties in western Canada and their suitability for Roquette’s new plant, which will become operational at the end of 2020. This will be followed with research on ways to improve the functional properties of pea protein.
“As a global leader in food, nutrition and health markets, Roquette has more than 40 years of experience in plant-protein research and development,” said Dominique Baumann, Managing Director, Roquette in Canada. “This PIC investment provides us with an opportunity to collaborate with Prairie Fava on developing and strengthening the value-chain for pulse crops across the Canadian Prairies. Growers, livestock producers, food innovators and consumers will all see the benefits of this supercluster funding.”
The large project has several sub-activities ranging from breeding, to agronomic improvements, through to finished product testing and human clinical trials. Specifically, this project will address unique challenges associated with running a pea plant in Western Canada, such as how to mitigate the effects of cold weather. This knowledge will be key in further expanding Canada’s ability to be a global leader in the production of plant protein.
Through its lifespan, it is expected that, in addition to the project consortium, 11 Canadian academic and research institutions and two additional SMEs will bring expertise and conduct research as part of this project. This will help train students, improve curricula and infrastructure, and build skills to support the development of a strong workforce for Canada’s agrifood sector.
The fava portion of the research is largely focused on optimizing the dehulling and processing of fava beans by Prairie Fava, increasing their efficiency and reducing their costs of production. The partnership will also focus on the development of end-products and pea-fava ingredient blends.
“All aspects of the fava bean component will enhance the productivity, performance and competitiveness of the value-chain, from the farmer to the end-user,” said Hailey Jefferies, Co-Founder and CEO of Prairie Fava. “The partnership of Prairie Fava and Roquette, with the support of PIC, will lead to expanded skills development, research and development and, ultimately, capacity for the fava value-chain through boosting technical compatibility of collaborative research organizations and co-manufacturers working on fava.”
Read the press release from Protein Industries Canada here.
Roquette is a global leader in plant-based ingredients and a pioneer of new plant proteins. In collaboration with its customers and partners, the group addresses current and future societal challenges by unlocking the potential of nature to offer the best ingredients for food, nutrition and health markets. Each of these ingredients responds to unique and essential needs, and they enable healthier lifestyles. Thanks to a constant drive for innovation and a long-term vision, the group is committed to improving the well-being of millions of people all over the world while taking care of resources and territories.
Roquette currently operates in over 100 countries, has a turnover of around €3.7 billion and employs 8,670 people worldwide. Roquette has invested over a half-billion euros in pea protein over five years, including almost €400 million (more than CAD$600 million) for construction of the world’s largest pea processing plant in Portage la Prairie, Man. The Portage Pea Plant facility will employ 120 people when it becomes operational at the end of 2020.
About Prairie Fava
The food market is seeking new plant-based ingredients that are healthy, sustainable and have good functionality. Fava ingredients are gluten-free, are light in colour and flavour, have high density protein, are rich in nutrients, and comeu from an environmentally sustainable, non-GMO pulse crop. Fava ingredients can significantly improve flavor and texture and boost nutrition in foods. Prairie Fava (PF) is an agri-food ingredient company located in the heart of the Canadian prairies - Glenboro, Man. PF was established by Hailey and Cale Jefferies in 2015 and supplies whole fava bean, dehulled split fava bean, and raw and precooked fava flour.
PF is the “the fava bean company” supplying high-quality, healthy fava beans, fava ingredients and fava consumer products to the world. Current intellectual property includes the exclusive licence in North America for a first ever fava bean variety with a low vicine/covicine content (DL Rico) owned by Manitoba-based seed developer DL Seeds/NPZ. PF has secured North American (IP/closed-loop) distribution rights, which provides a competitive advantage for fava marketed into the food industry. Their fava beans are grown sustainably, and they work closely with farmers to ensure high-quality standards. They’re dedicated to complete traceability and control of their beans, from seed to shelf. Their flour can be certified as kosher and halal. With plant-based ingredients on the rise, fava is a fantastic ingredient option to help meet demand.
Communications and Public Affairs Manager – Canada
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