The owner of Faba Canada has acquired a former field pea-processing plant at Legal and will open Alberta’s first fababean fractionation facility.
The plant will allow his company, based in Melfort, Sask. to demonstrate it can successfully produce high-protein concentrate, company president Brad Goudy told Saskatchewan radio station CJVR.
Goudy has been a longtime promoter of the pulse crop and has touted the Parkland region of Alberta and Saskatchewan, saying the area needs another crop in order to lengthen canola rotations.
“Fababeans have been tried on and off for a couple of decades by farmers and seem to do quite well here,” states Faba Canada’s website. “But we also need to make sure that there is a good market for them. The lack of good, consistent markets have been what has killed fababean production in the past.”
Alberta growers have seeded fewer than 40,000 acres in the last five years while Saskatchewan farmers planted their largest-ever acreage this spring — 76,900 acres, according to StatsCan.
While the crop has a “longer-than-ideal growing season for Western Canada,” Faba Canada’s website states, it has several attributes, including standability, resistance to root rot, able to withstand spring frosts, and like other pulses, able to fix their own nitrogen.
It’s also a crop the world wants, the company says.
“With the growing demand for plant-based proteins, and fabas being high in protein, there is going to be great opportunity for faba fractionation.”
Once the company can demonstrate it “can achieve the level of protein we say we can,” Faba Canada will look at building a brand new second facility in Saskatchewan, Goudy told CJVR.
Another Saskatchewan company, C-Merak Foods in Tisdale, says it will soon start construction of a faba fractionation plant in that community.