The Government of Canada has announced financing of close to $100 million for the new Merit Functional Foods plant in Winnipeg.

"The made-in-Canada agricultural technologies and innovations from Merit Functional Foods not only give us a competitive advantage in the global marketplace, they are creating jobs and adding value to our farmers` commodities," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "This is a very exciting project that demonstrates our Government`s commitment to positioning Canada as a leader in production of plant proteins.”

The federal financing for Merit Functional Foods includes:

- $10 million in a repayable contribution from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriInnovate Program;
- $25 million in debt financing from Farm Credit Canada;
- $55 million in debt financing from Export Development Canada; and
- $9.2 million from the Protein Industries Canada supercluster announced earlier to support a project for the commercialization of a new highly soluble, highly functional pea and canola protein isolates.

"We are extremely appreciative of the instrumental support from the government and our other partners as we move one step closer to commercializing our state-of-the-art protein manufacturing facility," said Ryan Bracken, Co-CEO at Merit Functional Foods. "We're proud to help elevate Canada as one of the world's leaders in plant-based protein and sustainable food."

Merit Functional Foods will construct a commercial-scale protein extraction facility that will produce plant proteins superior in solubility, flavour and purity. Merit will be the first facility in the world with the capability to produce food-grade canola protein ready and safe for human consumption. The company will source 100 percent of its inputs from Canadian producers, with a projected forecast to utilize 10,000 metric tonnes of yellow peas and 17,000 tonnes of canola seed in its first year.

The plant, scheduled to be fully operational in December 2020, will create 80 new jobs.