Canada’s plant-based food industry just got a big boost from the federal government. On June 22, Justin Trudeau announced an investment of almost $100 million. The cash will go to Merit Functional Foods in Winnipeg, where it will be used to “create good jobs in a fast-growing field.”

Speaking from Rideau Cottage on June 22, the prime minister announced new funding for Canada’s plant-based food industry, totalling almost $100 million.

Trudeau explained that the money would be going to Merit Functional Foods, a Canadian company that specializes in plant-based proteins.

He explained, “As people around the world start eating more plant-based products, we have an opportunity to bring together Canadian innovation and Canadian crops, and a chance to create good, well-paying jobs.”

Trudeau noted that the government has already invested in vegetarian-friendly food and drink before, but given the industry is growing fast, he said they’re “not stopping there.”

Announcing the multi-million dollar funding, Trudeau explained, “This facility will be a world leader in plant-based proteins and create good jobs in a fast-growing field.”

“By using 100% Canadian input it will also support farmers who produce the canola and yellow peas used in Merit’s products,” he added.

Merit Functional Foods describes their mission as “uprooting the food and beverage industry’s perception of plant-based proteins by producing ingredients that exceed standards for purity, solubility, taste, and more.”

Trudeau's funding announcement comes as some of Canada's biggest cafes and restaurants have made moves to offer more meat-free and dairy-free options.

Last week, Tim Hortons had some good news for lovers of all things plant-based, as they announced a big update to their menu.

The coffee giant confirmed on June 17 that almond milk would be available in most locations soon, which means that vegan-friendly coffee is now an option!

Starbucks Canada also added dairy-free milk options to their drinks menu earlier this year.

Last year, several fast-food companies introduced a number of new, plant-based treats. However, items like the Tim Hortons Beyond Meat snacks have already been axed from their menu.

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