Pulse Beat Individual Articles

Merit Functional Foods: Producing Highly Functional Plant-Based Protein Starts on the Farm

Dan Kraft, VP of Operations, Merit Functional Foods – Fall/Winter (December) Pulse Beat 2021

Merit’s grower partnerships are pivotal to producing highly functional pea and canola protein ingredients that help manufacturers unlock better plant-based products that deliver on taste, texture, and nutrition.

In October, as the growing season was winding down, we were gearing up for our 2022 Merit contracting period with our partner, Pitura Seeds, who connected with growers to secure contracts for the following season. Many of our existing growers chose to continue their partnerships with us, and we are also pleased to welcome new farms to the Merit grower family.

We take pride in our proximity to an abundant source of yellow peas and non-GMO canola — which was a strategic decision made by our founders when determining where to build our production facility. This closeness to the source means we can provide high-quality, sustainable made-in-Canada plant protein solutions for manufacturers for use in products such as plant-based ice cream, meat and dairy alternatives, protein bars, and more.

At Merit, we use proprietary extraction and filtration technology to produce our high purity pea protein ingredients with pleasing flavour and smooth texture. The end products of this process are Peazazz® and Peazac® — two novel, highly soluble pea proteins ranging from 80% to 90% protein that addresses taste, texture, and flavour issues and many other problems common to plant protein ingredients.

We encourage growers to become part of our exciting story, and here are a few reasons why:

  • We are a Canadian Company — Our founders are Manitobans who are passionate about supporting their local community and offering manufacturers options for Canadian grown and produced plant protein ingredients
  • Competitive Contracts — We bring value to Canadian growers with competitive contracts for organic/non-organic yellow peas and non-GMO canola
  • True Partnership — Along with our industry-leading contracting partner, Pitura Seeds, we collaborate with growers to build mutually beneficial long-term relationships
  • Consumer Appeal — We produce sustainable protein ingredients to help manufacturers meet increasing consumer demand for allergen-friendly products
  • New Revenue Streams — We produce the world’s first high purity, non-GMO canola protein, which provides a new value-added revenue stream for growers in western Canada.

In addition to these benefits, growing with Merit has recently become more streamlined with the introduction of our new Grower Pricing portal. This site allows contracted growers to view our current non-GMO canola and pea contract prices and provides them with a user-friendly tool to help secure pricing for their specific delivery periods. The site also offers an easy way for potential growers to learn about the key features of our contracts.

We believe that everyone deserves plant protein with Merit — and our trusted growers are critical contributors to this mission. Together, we are bringing Canadian-grown protein to a world hungry for change!

For more information, please visit meritfoods.com/growers and connect with us on Twitter @MeritProteins to stay up to date on our grower news.