New partnership to develop farm-to-fork ecosystem for lupin in Canada

Companies will work together to promote and support the adoption of lupin across the agrifood industry

CALGARY, Dec. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Protein Industries Canada announced a project to establish lupin as a staple crop in the Canadian agrifood sector.

Lupin Platform Inc., Hensall Co-op, Lumi Foods and PURIS have come together to establish an integrated ecosystem to increase the production and processing of lupin in Canada. The $7.3 million project will develop a lupin supply and value chain, from crop production through to the development and manufacturing of functional ingredients and products.

Lupin is widely acknowledged as the pulse with the highest seed protein content, and a unique starch and oil composition. Lupin is an emerging crop for Canada with significant growth potential, presenting a great opportunity for Canada to meet the growing demand for high-quality plant-based protein ingredients.

“By supporting unique projects like this one, Protein Industries Canada is creating new possibilities for innovation and growth in the plant-based protein sector,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “We are proud to be partnering with this Supercluster to give Canadian farmers more options to help feed Canadians and meet the global demand for plant-based food and ingredients.”

The consortium, with each member representing a link in the value chain, will focus on identifying the lupin varieties that are best suited for Canadian growing conditions, developing and improving seed cleaning and processing technologies, determining the value of lupin’s co-products, and creating new food formulations and products.

"Lupin is an exciting new crop for Canada that will bring new value to Canada’s plant-based food and ingredient ecosystem, benefiting the entire value chain, from farmers to end consumers," CEO of Protein Industries Canada Bill Greuel said. "This project is a demonstration of the importance of innovation in energizing Canada’s economy. By supporting Canadian SMEs in innovating new crops, ingredients and products, new companies are being created and new products are being commercialized, leading to the creation of good-paying jobs for Canadians.”

The project will be led by Lupin Platform Inc., a new company that will oversee the development of the ecosystem and contribute inputs and expertise to activities related to agronomic research, commercial-scale lupin production, protein extraction and functional characterization, and ingredient and value-added product development such as lupin beverages and a baking mix.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of this consortium and to work together to accelerate the development of the lupin ecosystem in Canada from seed to fork,” said Lupin Platform Inc. CEO Tristan Choi. “Lupin has a unique composition that makes it an exciting source for plant-based protein ingredients. It also fixes nitrogen to the soil and is naturally disease resistant, which reduces the need for inputs, reducing emissions for sustainable farming practice and benefiting Canadian farmers that add it to their rotation."

Hensall Co-op, one of Canada’s largest farmer co-operatives, will take on agronomic research and testing for the novel crop, as well as utilize in-house equipment and know-how to develop effective and scalable cleaning, dehulling and milling technologies that are suitable for commercialization at the processing level. Additionally, Hensall hopes to develop data related to the feed value of lupin in monogastric and ruminant nutrition.

The novel lupin ingredients will then be used by Lumi Foods and PURIS to develop new plant-based products for consumers across North America.

Lumi Foods (formerly Blue Heron Creamery), a high-end plant-based cheese and products manufacturer, will utilize lupin in their proprietary cheesemaking process. Over the past three years, the company has been exploring different ingredients to develop a nut-free line of dairy-alternative products, and lupin’s high protein content makes it an attractive ingredient in formulation.

PURIS, a company that works at the intersection of growers, makers and eaters to deliver sustainable nutrition from plants, will support the effort through innovation and product development to deliver planet-friendly foods, great taste and accessibility.

“Hensall Co-op is excited to be part of this opportunity,” said Hensall Co-op CEO Brad Chandler. “We believe the alternative protein industry will grow for years to come and that being involved at this stage will help provide future growth opportunities for both our Co-op and member base.”

"Lumi Foods is very excited to be participating in this consortium. We've had an opportunity to do early research with respect to lupin, and had been seeking a Canadian grown supply," said Lumi Foods CEO Karen McAthy. "This opportunity to further develop our range of cultured plant-based cheeses and dairy alternatives using this high-protein, sustainable crop, and to work collaboratively with other companies with similar values as concerns with environmental impact and evolving plant-based options for the consumer, is tremendously exciting. We are very much looking forward to bringing to market some of our new lupin-based cheeses early in the new year."

“PURIS was founded with the aspiration of a plant-strong planet. We see sustainable proteins as a fundamental piece of this puzzle and are excited to continue to support developments of legume-based proteins and their supply chains,” said Nicole Atchison, CEO of PURIS Holdings. “PURIS will be applying our expertise in plant-based food formulation and development towards the application of lupin flours and proteins to create products that check the boxes for today’s conscious consumer. We look forward to partnering with the other members to bring this supply chain to life from farm to fork.”

The partnership marks Protein Industries Canada’s 24th technology project, and its 29th overall. Together with industry, Protein Industries Canada has committed more than $433 million to Canada’s plant-based food, feed and ingredients ecosystem.

Media may contact:

Gabriel Valentini
Protein Industries Canada
Winnipeg, MB

About Lupin Platform Inc.

Lupin Platform Inc. (LPI) is a Calgary-based agri-business focusing on creating a vertically integrated lupin value chains in Canada, from the seed to fork. LPI’s key strength lies in the ability to complete the fully integrated supply chain from controlling the seed distribution rights for five optimal lupin varieties for Canada and the United States, accumulated best practice management experience for lupin cultivation, processing and protein extraction trade secrets, and the ability to tap into local and international distribution chains for food and feed applications.

About Lumi Foods

Vancouver-based Lumi Foods (formerly Blue Heron Creamery) is on a mission to accelerate humanity’s transition to an animal-free food system by inspiring consumers to reimagine dairy, starting with cheese. Lumi uses traditional cheesemaking methods powered by scientific innovation to elevate the taste, texture, aroma and performance of plant-based cheeses. Lumi develops and produces better, kinder dairy-alternative products from a wide variety of sustainable plant materials using emerging food technology and strategic partnerships to advance its mission.

About Hensall Co-op

From Hensall Co-op’s humble beginning in 1937, the organization has grown to be one of the largest non-financial co-operatives in Canada. Today, Hensall is a leading diversified agri-business based in Canada, offering grain and bean marketing, feed, agronomic, energy and logistics services locally and globally. Proudly farmer-owned, the group has facilities across Canada, employs in excess of 500 individuals and has a member base that exceeds 5,000.

About PURIS Holdings

PURIS Holdings is an Iowa-based company positioned at the intersection of food and ag technology, focused on scaling a sustainable global food supply. PURIS develops non-GMO corn, soy and pea seeds designed to excel on the farm and deliver sustainable nutrition for the planet. With its closed-loop system, PURIS partners with farmers across the United States to grow its seeds before buying back crops and transforming them into sustainable ingredients and plant-based foods. PURIS is always innovating to identify ways to build a smarter food system that connects growers, makers and eaters, delivering impact and value to all to build a plant-strong planet.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

A photo of a hand holding lupin, with text and logos layered on top.