World’s Largest Pea Protein Plant Begins Operations
In January 2017, Roquette, a food ingredient company based in France, announced plans to invest $600 million to build a pea protein production plant in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Four years later, the world’s largest facility of its kind has begun operations.
Last November, the plant accepted its first delivery from a Carberry, Manitoba farm. Since then, 163 loads of peas have been delivered from various local farms. The plant expects to fully begin pea protein production by mid-summer 2021 and increase operations to full capacity by 2022. The plant will require around 125 thousand tonnes of yellow peas each year when running at full capacity.
“We’ll be producing our high-grade pea protein by mid-summer 2021, and we’ll be at full capacity by early 2022,” said Michelle Finley, Communications and Public Affairs Manager for Roquette Canada. “We are here for the long haul. We’ve invested C$600 million of private funding into this plant, and we think we are home here in Manitoba.”
Roquette has employed several agronomists to work with growers at local farms to ensure the peas grown meet Roquette’s quality criteria. The company’s criteria prohibit growers from applying glyphosate during the pre-harvest interval. However, diquat (Reglone) and saflufenacil (Heat) are approved for pre-harvest use.
“My main role is to work with growers to make sure they’re successful in growing peas, because their success is going to equal Roquette’s success,” said Anastasia Kubinec, Agronomist at Roquette Canada.
Roquette has also launched an organic yellow pea contract for the 2021 season, and the company has received strong interest from organic producers across the prairie provinces.