Wednesday’s announcement from Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) investing in a new pea protein isolate production plant in Yorkton has yielded positive reaction from the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and the Mayor of Yorkton.
Executive Director of the Pulse Growers Carl Potts says it will help create demand domestically and abroad. “In Saskatchewan it’s positive news,” Potts said. “We’ve done a lot of work to try to diversify demand – we’re very reliant on export markets for pulses and building some more demand here within Canada and within Saskatchewan is positive news for Saskatchewan growers.”
“We’re ecstatic needless to say,” said Mayor Mitch Hippsley of the announcement. “With that it’s going to bring lots of investment into the city.”
Hippsley expects construction on the new pea production plant to begin this spring but the company didn’t provide details on when the work on its existing industrial complex would start, but did say the end of 2025 is when the project would be complete. The new facility will employ about 60 people. Hippsley notes LDC only turned sod last June to double the size of their canola crushing plant in Yorkton, demonstrating major confidence in the Yorkton area.
“Right now, we are told that we have in the neighbourhood of investment of $1.5-billion being spent in our city,” the mayor added. “The spin-offs are incredible, so we have to prepare, we have to start building houses and doing all kinds of stuff to prepare for this kind of a ‘boom’ if you will.”
Potts says the investment from LDC comes at a time when there’s been a lot of change in the pea market over the last 5 to 10 years. India was a major market before implementing import restrictions on field peas, only to then lower the tariffs by 50 percent until March 31st due to demand. China is also a major customer of peas with almost 80 percent of exports going to that market in some cases, according to Potts.
LDC says in a news release the new facility will enable them “to deliver highly functional, taste-neutral, nutritious ingredients, well-suited for dairy alternatives, high-protein nutrition solutions and other plant-based applications. It will also expand and accelerate their existing pea protein isolate and non-GMO soy isolate offering.”
Saskatchewan’s pulse production accounts for roughly 80 per cent of Canada’s pea exports.
(With files from Doug Falconer, CJGX, and Neil Billinger, CJWW)