On Thursday, Protein Industries Canada announced a co-investment into a project that will use some of Canada’s most widely grown crops in the development of new plant-based foods and ingredients.

Winnipeg-based Merit Functional Foods, TWC Nutrition, Daiya Foods, and Grand River Foods are partnering to utilize Merit Functional Foods’ pea, canola, and blended pea-canola protein ingredients in new plant-based products.

This could include alternative meat products, alternative dairy products, and other beverages, developed by TWC Nutrition, Daiya Foods, and Grand River Foods.

“Adding value to our crops by turning them into innovative food products is a boon for our communities and the Canadian economy as a whole. This partnership will not only benefit Canadian pea and canola farmers by expanding their domestic market, but it will also benefit consumers of plant-based foods by giving them more options for top-quality Canadian-made products,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food.

Protein Industries Canada is providing half of the investment into the project, with Merit Functional Foods, TWC Nutrition, Daiya Foods, and Grand River Foods together investing the remaining half for a total project investment of $7.9 million.

“Canada is known for our diverse selection of high-quality crops, but we have the potential to be known for what we can do with them,” said Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel. “Merit Functional Foods has proven that our peas and canola make for ideal plant protein ingredients, and now TWC Nutrition, Daiya Foods, and Grand River Foods will help show consumers around the world that these ingredients can be the base for healthy, delicious plant-based foods and beverages.”

This is Protein Industries Canada’s 20th project announcement and their 19th specific to their Technology program. Together with industry, they have invested more than $367 million to the Canadian plant-based food, feed and ingredients sector.