A plant-based food producer in Delta has received a major federal grant to help improve its operations.
Late last week, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau announced more than $1.4 million in funding for Big Mountain Foods 2 Ltd. in Delta.
Big Mountain Foods 2 Ltd. is a women-owned and operated company that manufactures plant-based foods focused on using quality, 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 the facility. These changes will help commercialize a plant-based, soy-free tofu product made from 100 per cent Canadian grown and milled chickpeas, helping meet the needs of consumers with allergies to soy and special dietary needs.
Delta MP Carla Qualtrough toured the facility on Annacis Island and made the funding announcement on behalf of Bibeau.
“Innovative agriculture is the way of the future,” said Qualtrough. “Congratulations to Big Mountain Foods 2 Ltd. on the contribution they're making to our Delta community, and to the plant-based sector in Canada. Our government is proud to invest in businesses that meet consumer demands, while keeping our industries sustainable and competitive for future generations.”
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.
“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,” said Jasmine Byrne, president of Big Mountain Foods 2 Ltd. “Big Mountain Foods has commissioned a facility in Vancouver that has capacity to produce over 2 million units a year of tofu. The new facility is inclusive of upcycling with a goal to be zero waste. 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.”