Roquette celebrated the opening of the world's largest pea protein plant on November 17, 2021, further extending its leadership position to meet surging global demand for alternative proteins. The new "Plant for the Future" gives Roquette the largest pea protein supply in the world alongside some of the world's best experts in developing new plant-based foods.
"We see this as a transformational event in our history and a boost to the global plant-based food sector," said Pierre Courduroux, CEO of Roquette. "Diets have changed considerably in recent years, and the desire for alternative proteins continues to grow. Our company is proud to bring this amazing new facility online to serve demand in North America and around the world."
Roquette has already helped millions of people add more plant-based proteins to their diets. The company works closely with food leaders to develop new products and solutions that are contributing to the development of a new plant-based cuisine offering sustainable food for a healthier planet. Demand for pea protein has been booming with multiple industry estimates expecting an annual global growth rate between 15 and 24 percent over the next decade.
With the new plant, Roquette has responded to that demand and is the only company with major pea protein facilities on both sides of the Atlantic.
The new plant is perfectly situated—just outside Winnipeg in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba—in the Canadian Prairies. The region produces more peas than any other in the world, all within a day's drive of the plant. With easy access to the United States and international markets by road, rail and air, the new plant is the largest player in a region becoming known as the "Silicon Valley of Plant-Based Protein."
"The pandemic has led to stronger consumer demand for plant-based proteins while also disrupting global supply chains. This plant will help our customers move forward rapidly on product development," said Jeremy Burks, senior vice president of plant proteins at Roquette. "The plant protein food sector needs investment, expertise, and innovation to meet global demand, and Roquette brings it all. We've seen excitement from new and existing customers who can't wait to develop new products with us."
With this new facility, Roquette has largely exceeded the half a billion euros investment in plant proteins it had targeted in the period 2015-2020. This includes equity investments, acquisitions, upgrades to the plant in Vic-sur-Aisne, France and the brand-new plant in Portage, which is Roquette's largest ever North American investment. The 200,000-square-foot-plant has the capacity to process 125,000 tons of yellow peas per year. When combined with Roquette's plant in France, the company's capacity now rises to 250,000 tons of peas per year and confirms Roquette's leading position in this market.
Speaking about the facility, Dominique Baumann, managing director of Roquette in Canada, said, "This plant is an engineering marvel. We are entering into the next level of quality, efficiency and commitment to the market. The design of the plant is a proof-point of our sustainable development approach, with 100% hydroelectricity power and optimized water management. This plant is part of a whole story, involving farmers, suppliers and local teams."
Nutritionally, peas are an excellent protein source. They're high in fiber and low in fat. On the farm, peas are more environmentally sustainable. They require less water to grow than most other crops, and farmers like that they use less nitrogen fertilizer, while they also naturally produce compounds beneficial to soil health.
Consumers love pea protein as an alternative protein source because it is easily digestible, gluten-free, non-GMO, and has low allergenicity. Roquette's NUTRALYS pea protein makes it possible to create a vast variety of delicious and sustainable food products, including meat alternatives, nutrition bars, plant-based biscuits, and beverages.