Merit Functional Foods has announced a new partnership with Bunge Limited that will bolster its mission to provide plant-based protein ingredients with unmatched purity and quality.

Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG) (“Bunge”), an international agribusiness and food company, has made a $30 million (CAD) capital investment in Merit, giving the global ingredient supplier a minority interest in the Canadian-based company. The partnership will expedite the construction of Merit’s state-of-the-art plant-based protein production facility in Manitoba, Canada, where it will produce novel pea and canola protein ingredients. 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.”

The demand for plant-based foods and beverages–including dairy and meat alternatives–is rapidly increasing. 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.