Cargill has 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, Minnesota. This investment will position Puris to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for its category leading pea proteins, starches and fibers all grown and produced through its unique vertically integrated and transparent supply chain.
"This is more than a pea protein facility. This is the future of food. 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. This investment will grant Puris the ability to support more food companies, more farmers and more consumers faster," said Tyler Lorenzen, Puris President.
"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 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."
Consumers continue to fuel demand for great tasting, label-friendly, alternative proteins to meet their individual nutritional needs while food and beverage manufacturers, in ever increasing numbers, are turning to pea protein for its functional and nutritional attributes. The launch of new pea-protein-based food and beverage products grew at a very healthy 19 percent CAGR globally from January 2016 – December 2018, according to Innova Market Insights. Puris offers non-GMO and organic pea protein options that are renowned for their proprietary, high-quality, clean flavor. Its non-major food allergen and vegan features check all the boxes consumers are looking for in label-friendly products across multiple food and beverage categories.
"Our investment in pea protein not only enhances our diverse portfolio of high-quality ingredients but also expands our opportunity to work with customers to make products that use a variety of our ingredients to satisfy consumers around the world," added Koenig.
Beginning with its own proprietary, non-GMO pea seed, Puris utilizes its network of over 400 U.S. farmers to grow the peas, which not only provide economic benefit to the farmers but also help 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.
"While this is an important step in our growth for many reasons, one that resonates personally for me is to move ever closer to the vision my father had in 1985. A vision that plant-based nutrition would propel us to a better future for both people and our planet. With this investment, those possibilities are becoming realities which in turn inspires us to create what's next for plants, people, planet and Puris," said Lorenzen.
Puris will now own and operate three facilities in North America solely focused on pea protein production: Turtle Lake, Wisconsin; Oskaloosa, Iowa; and Dawson, Minnesota. 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 Governor 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, Wisconsin production facility. Pea protein broadens Cargill's portfolio of alternative proteins, such as cell-cultured protein, to meet consumer dietary preferences.