Cargill, Minneapolis, said it invested an additional $75 million in Puris, the largest North American producer of pea protein. The investment enables Puris to more than double its pea protein production using an existing 200,000-square-foot facility in Dawson, Minn. This investment will position Puris to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for its pea proteins, starches and fibers, which are all grown and produced through its unique vertically integrated and transparent supply chain.
"The Dawson facility will not only support Puris farmers in the U.S. with a crop that regenerates their land and that is sustainable because it provides soil health advantages, but will also support the growing demand for great-tasting plant-based products in the market place,” said Tyler Lorenzen, president, Puris. “This investment will grant Puris the ability to support more food companies, more farmers and more consumers faster."
The launch of new pea-protein-based food and beverage products grew at a 19% compound annual growth rate globally from January 2016 to December 2018, according to Innova Market Insights.
"As consumer demand increases for plant-based proteins, we want to make sure that Cargill, with our partner Puris, can deliver on that demand with great-tasting, sustainable and label-friendly pea protein for customers in North America and across the world," said Laurie Koenig, Cargill’s texturizers and specialty lead. "This investment also provides significant support to the local economy with approximately 90 new jobs and a new revenue stream for Midwest farmers."
Beginning with its proprietary non-GMO pea seed, Puris said it utilizes its network of over 400 U.S. farmers to grow the peas. This not only provides economic benefit to the farmers, but also helps regenerate the soil. Puris purchases the peas the farmers grow and turns the crops into pea ingredients, including pea protein, pea starch and pea fiber.
Puris said it will now own and operate three facilities in North America solely focused on pea protein production: in Turtle Lake, Wis.; Oskaloosa, Iowa; and Dawson. With engineering complete on the Dawson facility, construction to retrofit it for pea production will start immediately, with an anticipated operational start date of late 2020.
"I am excited that Cargill and Puris are investing in the potential of Greater Minnesota communities like Dawson," said Gov. Tim Walz. "Repurposing an existing facility for a new pea protein plant is an excellent example of the smart, sustainable innovation that has kept Minnesota on the forefront of the food production industry."
Cargill announced its joint venture with Puris in January 2018, with an initial investment of $25 million that was used to add substantial capacity at the Turtle Lake production facility.