Originally published January 15, 2020 on Western Producer
By Robert Arnason
Beyond Meat wants more peas from the Prairies.
The California company, best known for its veggie burgers, has signed a long-term deal with Roquette, a French company and major supplier of pea-based protein.
“This latest contract with Roquette reflects Beyond Meat’s commitment to further scaling the plant protein supply chain as global demand for our products continues to rise,” Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat’s founder and chief executive officer, said yesterday.
Beyond Meat sells its veggie burgers directly to consumers, but also through restaurants like A&W and McDonald’s.
The two companies already have a business relationship, but this new deal “significantly increases the amount of pea protein to be supplied by Roquette to Beyond Meat over the next three years,” Beyond Meat said in a statement.
The Beyond Meat announcement is not a surprise because Roquette is currently building a $400 million pea protein processing plant in Portage la Prairie, Man.
Last year, Roquette estimated the plant would be completed by the fall of 2020. When operational and at full capacity, it will require about 125,000 tonnes of yellow peas annually, or about 125,000 acres.
Manitoba farmers will supply a portion of those peas, but the majority may come from Saskatchewan.
The Portage plant will fractionate peas into starch, fibre, hull, protein and solubles and then sell the components into numerous markets, including human nutrition, pet foods and pharmaceuticals.