Bunge Ltd., Chesterfield, Mo., made a 30 million Canadian-dollar capital investment in Merit Functional Foods, Winnipeg, Manitoba, giving the global ingredient supplier a minority interest in the Canadian company. The new partnership will bolster Merit’s mission to provide plant-based protein ingredients with unmatched purity and quality, the companies said.

The partnership also will expedite the construction of Merit’s state-of-the-art plant-based protein production facility in Manitoba, where it will produce novel pea and canola protein ingredients, the companies said. It will be the only commercial-scale facility capable of producing food-grade canola protein in the world. Construction is well underway, and the plant is on track to be fully operational by December 2020.

“We’re excited to have a global partner like Bunge recognize our mission and assist us in accelerating our plans and path to launch,” Merit’s co-CEO Ryan Bracken said. “Bunge also holds a deep knowledge of international commodity markets, which will help reinforce our canola business with customers globally.”

According to the companies, Merit’s product portfolio of pea and canola protein ingredients supports the growing need for highly functional and taste-forward plant-based applications. As one of the leading processors of canola in Canada, Bunge has strong origination expertise and will supply Merit with critical inputs.