PROVINCE ANNOUNCES HISTORIC INVESTMENT IN MANITOBA’S FOOD-PROCESSING SECTOR

New $400-million Pea Processing Plant to be Built Near Portage la Prairie, Creating More Than 150 New Jobs:  Pallister

The Manitoba government and Roquette today announced a historic investment in the province’s food-processing industry, confirming the France-based company’s plans to build a new, $400-million pea-processing facility near Portage la Prairie.  Premier Brian Pallister and Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler were joined by Edouard Roquette, Roquette’s chairman and Jean-Marc Gilson, Roquette’s CEO, as well as many industry

partners for the announcement made at the Legislative Building on Global Pulse Day.

“We are pleased to enter into this historic partnership with Roquette, which will result in an unparalleled investment in Manitoba’s food-processing and agricultural industry,” said Pallister.  “This new facility will create jobs and establish stronger markets for Canadian farmers while benefiting our province’s economy for decades to come.  It also demonstrates to Canada and to the world that our province is open for business and ready to compete for investments in agricultural production and innovation.”

“This new investment in Manitoba marks a key step in reinforcing Roquette’s leadership position in offering high-value plant-based ingredients around the world,” said Roquette.  “The new plant, which will be the largest dedicated to pea protein processing in the world, will support the future of Manitoba’s agriculture industry and help address the growing global demand for innovative food, nutrition and health products and solutions.”

Once open, the facility is expected to create approximately 150 jobs with an estimated annual payroll of around $9 million, the premier noted.  The facility will help to better serve customers in North America and globally with high-value nutritional choices including vegetarian foods and high-protein sport nutrition products, he added.

Construction is expected to begin in the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie before the end of 2017, Roquette said.  Roquette is committed to working with local contractors, skilled trades and professional service providers, with approximately 350 full-time jobs anticipated during the project’s two-year design and construction phase, he added.

“This new facility will be an enormous boost to our agricultural economy as a whole and is an exciting opportunity for Manitoba to continue to build its reputation as a leader in food development and processing,” said Eichler.  “Peas are an excellent source of protein, which is in growing demand around the world.  They are also a sustainable crop, complementing the land management and environmental stewardship techniques practiced by our farmers.”

“We are very excited about the decision by Roquette to find a home for its new processing facility near Portage la Prairie,” said Reeve Kam Blight, RM of Portage la Prairie.  “This investment is an incredible opportunity for the community and surrounding area.  We look forward to participating in the facility’s development process with Roquette and greatly anticipate the long-term contributions this investment will bring to our municipality.”

Canada is the largest producer of peas in the world.  Roquette chose Manitoba as the location for the new facility due to the quality of the workforce, the strength of its diverse economy, location as a transportation hub by air, rail and road to the rest of the continent, and access to reliable, sustainable and economical hydroelectric energy.

To learn more about Manitoba’s agriculture industry and food processing sector, visit www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture.  For more information on Manitoba’s agricultural programs and services, follow the Twitter account at www.twitter.com/MBGovAg.

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Link to Press Release and Background Information here