Canadian Government Invests Over $1.4 Million To Increase Plant-Based Food Production In British Columbia

Canada’s plant-based food sector is evolving to meet the increasing global demand for protein. To ensure this development is matched by support for companies to commercialize their products, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, recently announced over $1.4 million in funding for Big Mountain Foods 2 Ltd. in Delta, British Columbia.

“Plant-based foods are growing in popularity as Canadians are increasingly looking for options to incorporate greater variety into their diets. Investing in businesses like Big Mountain Foods 2 is establishing Canada’s position as a global leader in this industry, while increasing consumer choice of alternative protein options,” Bibeau said in a statement.

Big Mountain Foods 2 Ltd. is a women-owned and operated company that manufactures plant-based foods focused on using local ingredients to sustainably produce alternative protein whole foods. With an investment under the AgriInnovate Program, the company will increase production capacity and efficiency by adding custom, fully automated robotic equipment to their facility. These changes will help commercialize a plant-based, soy-free tofu product made from 100% Canadian grown and milled chickpeas, helping to meet the needs of consumers with allergies to soy and other special dietary restrictions.

The AgriInnovate Program provides repayable contributions for projects that aim to accelerate the commercialization, adoption and/or demonstration of innovative products, technologies, processes or services that increase agri-sector competitiveness and sustainability.

“With the help of the AgriInnovate Program, we have been able to launch the first-ever Fava Bean Tofu, free of all common allergens into the Canadian and USA market. Big Mountain Foods has commissioned a facility in Vancouver, BC, that has capacity to produce over 2 million units per year of tofu. The new facility is inclusive of upcycling with a goal to be zero waste,” explained Jasmine Byrne, President of Big Mountain Foods 2 Ltd. “The feedback on the tofu has been very positive with recent listings in Whole Foods and many other retailers. We are proud to have developed a tofu product that has similar taste, texture and functionality as traditional soy tofu that is higher in protein.”

As people around the world start consuming more plant-based products, farmers and processors have an opportunity to bring together Canadian crops and innovation to help the sector reach new international markets. Canadians are building technology-forward operations to take advantage of the country’s global leadership in grains, pulses, and other crops, bringing new quality food options to consumers.

By investing in plant-based innovation to support Canada’s competitiveness, the government is positioning plant-based production for continued growth and success today and in the future.

“Innovative agriculture is the way of the future. Congratulations to Big Mountain Foods 2 Ltd. on the contribution they are making to our Delta community, and to the plant-based sector in Canada,” stated the Honorable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. “Our government is proud to invest in businesses that meet consumer demands, while keeping our industries sustainable and competitive for future generations.”

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a $3-billion, five-year (2018-2023) investment by federal, provincial, and territorial governments to strengthen and grow Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector.

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