Governments of Canada and Manitoba announce $2.5 million to support Merit Functional Foods

News release

August 17, 2020 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The governments of Canada and Manitoba will invest up to $2.5 million cost-shared funding under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership program to support new technologies in Merit Functional Foods’ new state-of-the-art, 94,000 square foot plant protein production facility in Winnipeg, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on behalf of Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen announced today.

Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership the governments of Canada and Manitoba will be providing Merit Functional Foods with up to $2.5 million for new equipment purchases that will support the transformation of raw inputs into value-added goods. This investment will bring new technology into the production process for Merit Functional Foods new plant protein processing facility allowing them to be competitive on the global market, and creating up to 85 local jobs as part of their Phase 1 project, growing to more than 200 jobs in future phases.

Quotes

"Canada is a global leader in the production of plant-based proteins. Through this investment, as well as the previously announced nearly $100 million in federal financing support to Merit Functional Foods, our Government is truly committing to stay on the cutting-edge of agriculture innovation and sustainability. This new facility will not only add value to Canada’s pulses and oilseeds but will create many additional jobs thereby supporting the local Manitoban economy.”

- Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“The development of the Merit Functional Foods facility will create new, immediate jobs helping our economy restart after the COVID-19 pandemic and support the Manitoba Protein Advantage Strategy. This project will enhance Manitoba’s economy by providing economic opportunities for the agricultural industry including employment and contributing to the growth of Manitoba’s growing protein processing sector and further establish Manitoba as a Canadian leader in plant protein extraction.”

- Blaine Pedersen, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister

“We’re incredibly grateful for the Province and Federal support, which will help facilitate the rapid progression of our facility’s construction. It’s been just a bit over a year since we commissioned our project, and we’re nearing an on-track completion for the end of the year.  We’re proud to put Manitoba on the map as a leader in the plant-based protein movement.”

- Ryan Bracken, Merit Functional Foods Co-CEO

“The Manitoba Works Capital Incentive Program encourages new business investment, as well as existing business expansion by creating a competitive tax environment which will help diversify Manitoba’s economy and stimulate job creation. This program will ensure Manitoba continues to be recognized as an attractive destination for private investment by companies from across the country and around the world.”

- Ralph Eichler, Manitoba Economic Development and Training Minister

Quick facts

  • Merit Functional Foods is building a new processing facility in Winnipeg that will derive protein from both canola and peas resulting in up to 17,000 metric tonnes of canola being purchased from Manitoba producers in its first year of operation and 10,000 metric tons of peas at an estimated value of $14 million. In three years, Merit Functional Foods expects that amount to increase up to 35,000 metric tonnes of canola and 20,000 metric tons of peas valued at $28 million.

  • In June 2020, the Government of Canada announced additional federal financing support of nearly $100 million for the new Merit Functional Foods plant.

  • The Manitoba government will also be providing $1 million for cost-shared training activities, as well as an up to $4.95 million rebate over a maximum of 20 years to Merit Functional Foods through the Manitoba Works Capital Incentive Program(MWCI) Program. Cost-shared training activities will support the training of more than 100 new positions, and the training of five existing positions.

  • The province unveiled MWCI in May 2020 as a new approach to tax increment financing that rebates the incremental education property taxes generated by a project for a period of up to 20 years. Approved projects receive a tax rebate based on the difference between pre-development property tax revenue and the increased amount generated by the completed project. The program aims to encourage significant new business investment or existing business expansion.

  • A new or existing business interested in establishing or expanding its operations in Manitoba may apply for the MWCI if:

    • the business is prepared to make a minimum capital investment of $10 million to a specific property, which will be designated for tax increment financing benefits;
    • a minimum of 65 per cent of total project costs are from private sources; and
    • there is demonstrable potential to create and/or maintain at least 10 new jobs in the province, or the new business activity will have a substantial and measureable net economic benefit to the province.
  • The five-year, $3-billion Canadian Agricultural Partnership includes $2 billion for cost-shared strategic initiatives delivered by the provinces and territories and $1 billion for federal programs and services.

Associated links

Contacts

Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
jean-sebastien.comeau@canada.ca
343-549-2326

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972
aafc.mediarelations-relationsmedias.aac@canada.ca
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John Neufeld
Public Affairs Specialist
Government of Manitoba
204-945-3812

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