French pea protein supplier Roquette and plant-based meat producer Beyond Meat have a ‘longstanding partnership’ of approximately ten years.
As of January 2020, the companies are embarking on an updated, three-year agreement. This will see the amount of pea protein supplied to Beyond Meat ‘significantly’ increase compared to 2019 figures. Specific terms of the contract were not disclosed.
For Beyond Meat, the contract reflects its commitment to further scaling its plant protein supply chain in response to growing demand for plant-based offerings.
The Beyond Meat range, which champions pea protein isolate as its main ingredient, includes its flagship Beyond Burger, as well as plant-based ground Beyond Beef, and Beyond Sausage.
“Along with our supply chain partners, including Roquette, we are driving innovation and access to existing and new plant protein feedstocks as we provide consumers around the world with plant-based meats that delight taste buds while contributing to important health, climate, natural resource, and animal welfare goals,” said Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown.
Roquette is also looking to scale supply. At present, the ingredients company sources the majority of its peas from France, where they are processed in its Vic-sur-Aisne facility in the country’s north-east.
However, a number of investments will see the firm’s processing strategy change, and expand, in the coming months.
“Roquette is investing more than half a billion euros to meet the increasing global demand for high-quality pea protein, through a five-year investment programme,” VP of Roquette’s Pea and New Proteins Business Line, Jean-Philippe Azoulay, told FoodNavigator.
The programme includes the expansion of its existing Vic-sur-Aisne facility, as well as the construction of a new pea protein site in Manitoba, Canada. Once constructed, Azoulay said it will be the ‘world’s largest pea protein facility’. Combined, the two sites will boast the largest pea-processing capacity in the world, he added.
Other targeted investments include the recent acquisition of Texpalls extrusion unit in the Netherlands to boost its textured pea protein portfolio, and investment in Israeli seed breeding start-up Equinom – a company that develops “high-protein, high-yield varieties that will lead to unique characteristics and innovative foods,” he said.
PURIS: Roquette announcement doesn’t change anything that we are doing with Beyond or others
Asked whether the Roquette deal impacted its relationship with Beyond Meat, Jon Getzinger, chief marketing officer at pea protein specialist PURIS, told FoodNavigator-USA: "We were the first supplier to Beyond that did a long term deal.
"Once we broke that ground others were soon to follow. It [the Roquette announcement] doesn’t change anything that we are doing with Beyond or others for that matter. We’re still planning on being the first in the world with two plants and still with our unique, transparent, US supply chain from peas to protein."
PURIS CEO Tyler Lorenzen added: "These are exiting times in the plant-based food sector. We continue the growth of peas grown in the USA both Certified Organic and non-GMO. As we finish building our second pea protein plant - in Minnesota - we will drive more demand from those US farmers."