Processing plant will be located in Vanscoy, Sask.
By Diego Flammini
It’s a case of Hollywood coming north – Titanic and Avatar director James Cameron announced on Monday an investment into a Saskchewan pea protein facility.
Cameron, who was born in Kapuskasing, Ont., and his wife Suzy Amis Cameron are partners in Verdient Foods. Once the pea protein plant opens in Vanscoy in October, it will have the capacity to process about 160,000 metric tonnes of peas annually.
Verdient Foods has signed a four-year research contract with the Saskatchewan Food and Industry Development Centre to help develop organic products with ingredients from the Vanscoy plant.
“Ideally, we want to set up a business model where the organic premium that’s paid by consumers now (is passed) up the chain to the producer,” Cameron said during a press conference this morning.
“We are working with Saskatchewan farmers through the Verdient processing facility and the Food Centre to integrate food production with new value-added products.”
The Verident Foods group also includes the University of Saskatchewan and the Whitecap Dakota First Nation.
Cameron wouldn’t disclose his personal investment amount during ring the press conference, only calling it “big.”
And the investment into Saskatchewan agriculture is a testament to the province’s progressive innovation outlook.
“The first time I stepped foot in Saskatchewan, I was amazed (at) how forward thinking everyone is,” Amis Cameron said during the announcement. “Both of us are so excited about working here for years to come – decades to come – with smart, conscious, innovative people who care about the world.”
But the investment is also a sign the province’s agricultural sector is flourishing.
In 2016, Saskatchewan exported more than $14.4 billion worth of agri-food products, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. And farmers in Saskatchewan produce more than half of Canada’s canola.
Without farmers, the processing plant wouldn’t be possible.
“The Camerons’ decision to move forward with this project in Saskatchewan is a tribute to the province’s grain producers, our growing food processing industry (and) our world leading research community…,” Premier Brad Wall said during the announcement.