11 August 2021, Canada: Farmer’s Business Network Canada, Inc. is excited to be part of a new partnership spearheaded by Protein Industries Canada to build on the use of pea and hemp in plant-based food and ingredients.
FBN® Canada, NRGene, Pulse Genetics and Manitoba Harvest are joining forces to develop new pea and hemp varieties for use in food and ingredient processing. This will include a new pea-hemp flour blend.
The main focus of the partnership will look to increase the protein content and improve the starch content and texture of ingredients derived from the new varieties. This could potentially increase use in plant-based foods and beverages across Canada and the global market.
“This collaboration will enable the partners to develop products and create new plant-protein varieties more rapidly and at a lower cost, helping meet the demands of Canadians and offering them more choices for high-protein plant-based products at their local grocery stores,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
Champagne touted Canada’s agricultural sector as a global frontrunner in innovative research, creating new agri-food ingredients and products, developing new marketing opportunities and adding value to Canadian-grown commodities.
FBN Canada will focus on the country’s growing hemp sector and will utilize NRGene’s genomics technology in our efforts to develop new varieties. Pulse Genetics will focus on improving Canada’s well-established pea sector. Manitoba Harvest will work with existing varieties to develop a pea-hemp flour blend that will become a base formulation they will improve upon once access to the new varieties becomes available.
“At FBN, we’re constantly striving to provide our members with as many options as possible to maximize their operation’s profit potential. We’re looking forward to collaborating with Protein Industries Canada to bring a range of new hemp varieties to market,” said FBN Direct, Global, President Tom Staples.
“Through this project, NRGene, Farmer’s Business Network Canada, Inc., Pulse Genetics and Manitoba Harvest are displaying the diverse commodities Canada has to offer, while also helping meet the needs of food manufacturers and consumers,” said Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel.
Greuel sees the focus on protein crops like peas and hemp as a way to help diversify and open new markets and establish Canada as a leader in meeting consumer plant-based food demands.
The development of these new varieties, as well as the pea-hemp flour blend, is expected to create new market opportunities along Canada’s plant-based food and ingredients value chain, including for farmers, ingredient processors and food manufacturers. The utilization and scaling up of NRGene’s genomics technology will also supply researchers and crop breeders with advanced breeding tools that will shorten breeding cycles, particularly for pea and hemp varieties.
FBN Canada, NRGene, Pulse Genetics and Manitoba Harvest are investing a combined $3.3 million into the project. Protein Industries Canada is investing an additional $1.8 million for a total project investment of $5.1 million.