Plant Protein

Photo of plant based proteins like legumes, pulses, nuts, and vegetables arranged on a white backdrop 

Explore the following categories to learn more about Manitoba's plant processing sector:

Hemp Processing

Manitoba is home to the largest number of hemp processors and contract farmers in Canada. Local breeding initiatives expanded producer expertise, and the establishment of seed and fibre processing plants are contributing to the expansion of Manitoba's hemp sector.

  • Fresh Hemp Foods, the parent company for Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods in Winnipeg and Hemp Oil Canada in Ste. Agathe is the largest hemp processor in Canada. They are notable for manufacturing shelled hemp seeds, hemp protein mix, hemp oil, and other hemp-based food products.
  • In Arborg, Manitoba, Hemp Production Services (HPS Food & Ingredients) operates a hempseed processing factory, providing contract manufacturing services for bulk hemp products, such as toasted hempseed, shelled hempseed, hemp protein powders, and hemp oil.
  • Manitoba fibre manufacturers are attempting to convert hemp stalks into value-added bast fibre and pellets. In Carman, Manitoba, SWM International runs a fibre mill that produces flax and hemp fibres for specialty paper.
  • Natural health products, functional foods and nutraceuticals, food ingredients, and personal care products are major markets for hemp seed and oil.
  • The hemp industry employed 1,235 Manitobans in 2016 and generated $113.7 million in hemp exports in 2020.
  • The province generated around $15 million in 2021 and $2.1 million as of May 2022 by exporting processed hemp products. The quantity exported in 2021 and 2022 (as of May) is around 4 million kilograms and 189,157 kilograms, respectively.

Hemp Processors

For more information, see Hemp Production and Hemp Sector Profile

Oat Processing

Oats are abundant in dietary fibre, beta-glucans, protein, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them heart-healthy meals. Oats are a vital ingredient in gluten-free dishes such as pasta and pastries.

  • Oat groats, thick oats, and steel-cut oats are milled from oats.
  • Oat groats are oat kernels without hulls that are subsequently processed into rolled oats or chopped to produce steel-cut oats.
  • Manitoba has a long history of oat processing, with two big factories now in operation and a third set to open in late 2022.
  • Richardson Milling, the largest oat miller in Manitoba, is in Portage la Prairie and produces oat products for human consumption, like oat flour, rolled oats, and oat bran.
  • Manitoba’s second-largest oat miller is Emerson Milling, Located in Emerson, producing processed oat products for animal feed.
  • The O Foods Ltd oat processing plant, a subsidiary of Paterson Global Foods, began processing oats in 2022. It produces groats, rolled oats and oat flour for human consumption.
  • Buffalo Creek Mills in Altona manufactures oat flour and groats for human use and oat flour, groats, and oat pellets for the pet food industry.
  • The province generated $138 million in 2021 and $224 in 2022 by exporting processed oat products. The quantity exported in 2021 is 187 million kilograms.

For more information, visit Oat Sector Profile.

Canola Processing

Manitoba has a reliable and consistent supply of canola, with the crushing sector using about half of each year’s production to produce canola oil and meal. Canola oil is utilized in a variety of food items and may be used to make non-edible goods such as biodiesel. Canola meal has long been used as a protein source in animal feed. Canola is increasingly being explored as a protein element as people actively seek to integrate more plant-based proteins into their diets.

  • In 2021, Manitoba’s canola oil exports were valued at $961 million, representing 42 per cent of the total canola export.
  • Meal exports were valued at $310 million, representing 13 per cent of the total canola export.
  • In 2022, canola oil and meal exports generated $1.48 billion.
  • The export volume of canola oil and meal for 2021 and as of May 2022 is 1.3 billion kilograms and 454 million kilograms, respectively.
  • Bunge Canada operates two canola crushing plants in Manitoba, one in Altona and one at Harrowby, while Viterra Inc. operates one plant at Ste. Agathe.
  • The expansion of crushing facilities at Altona, Harrowby, and Ste. Agathe has doubled its crushing capacity in the last ten years.
  • M&C Commodities is another reputable processor of canola products based in this province.

Canola Suppliers

For more information, see the Canola Sector Profile.

Fava Bean Processing

Although fava beans have historically been eaten in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean markets, fava bean, as an ingredient, is growing in popularity as a way to boost protein while maintaining an attractive texture and neutral taste.

  • Fava beans are used whole, ground into flour, and processed further into fractions such as protein for human consumption and cattle feed.
  • They are popular in sauces, falafel, plant-based (meat and poultry analogs, cheese, and drinks), and roasted snacks.
  • Fava beans are a versatile component in many culinary preparations due to their neutral flavour and appealing texture.
  • Fava beans are an excellent protein feed source for hogs, dairy and beef cattle, lamb, and poultry due to their high protein content and low oil content.
  • Manitoba's Prairie Fava processes and sells fava beans for human consumption as flour, splits, and whole beans, all of which are sourced from the company's own prairie-grown beans. The anti-nutrient content of their patented seed is very low and suitable for food use.

For more information, see the Fava Bean Sector Profile.

Pea Processing

Demand for Manitoba-grown peas is expected to increase as the province's pea processing capacity expands. Pea protein has excellent potential as a component in meat analogs and extenders, high-protein bread items, and pea-based drinks.

  • In 2020 and 2021, Manitoba exported $72 million and $32 million worth of dry peas as dried, shelled, and skinned or split peas. As of May 2022, pea seeds’ export revenue and volumes stood at $3.9 million and 6,111 tonnes.
  • Roquette Canada has built the world’s largest pea processing plant in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. This $600-million facility serves the rising demand for plant-based proteins worldwide.
  • Baked products, baking mixes, soup mixes, breakfast cereals, processed meats, health foods, pasta, and purees include pea-based components.
  • Canning, split, whole dry markets, and value-added culinary ingredients (e.g., flour, starch, fibre, and protein) are examples of how dry peas are used in food. 
  • In Manitoba, many corporations clean, split, and bag peas for export. Others manufacture refined pea starch and protein, fine and coarse pea hull fibre, and packed pea soup.

Pea Processors

For more information, see the Pea Sector Profile.

Wheat Processing

The majority of wheat grown in Manitoba is Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS), a wheat class known for high protein content and quality. It is milled into flour, which is then used to produce a wide range of products such as bread, bakery products, and cereals. Manitoba’s wheat meets stringent quality standards set by the Canadian Grain Commission.

  • Manitoba processes around 11 per cent of its average wheat crop.
  • Manitoba is home to three commercial wheat mills: ADM Milling in Winnipeg, Brar Natural Flour Mills in Winnipeg, and Prairie Flour Mills in Elie.
  • There are nine grades of Western Canadian wheat, each with unique qualities suitable to particular products.
  • Manitoba generated $18 million in revenue by exporting wheat products in 2022. 

For more information, see the Wheat Sector Profile.

Soybean Processing

Soybean meal demand is increasing gradually as demand for protein-enriched meals for people and animal feed rises. Other manufactured food products use specialized soybean protein ingredients such as concentrates, isolates, and textured soybean protein.

  • Soybeans are crushed to produce soybean meal as the primary product and soy oil as the secondary product.
  • Approximately 10 per cent of Manitoba's soybeans are processed in the province.
  • Exports of processed soybean products were 2,358 tonnes worth $1.7 million in 2021. In 2022, exports of soybean products generated $5.57 million in revenue.
  • Manitoba is home to three soybean processors: Jordan Mills (Delmar Commodities) in Roland, Natural Proteins Inc. in Blumenort, and M&C Commodities in Beausejour.

For more information, see the Soybean Sector Profile.


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