Advancing Canadian ingredients with new fava bean research

Investment will improve fava varieties for functionality in consumer-facing products

Winnipeg, MB, March 06, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Protein Industries Canada announced a new co-investment into advancing the Canadian fava bean ecosystem. Building on the success of past projects, partners Prairie Fava, DL Seeds and Three Farmers are coming together to test the functionality of new fava bean varieties for use in consumer-facing products, particularly snack foods.

“By bolstering the cultivation and processing of fava beans for use in Canadian ingredients and food, this project will increase the selection of healthy and sustainable food options for Canadians,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Projects like these show how Protein Industries Canada and its partners’ innovative approaches to food will not only increase Canadians’ access to nutritious options but also build stronger and more resilient supply chains in Canada and abroad.”

“This innovative project exemplifies the potential of our agricultural sector, which is cultivating economic growth not only locally but also across Canada. We are proud to support initiatives like this one that present Canada as a strong and competitive leader in the food industry,” said the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. 

“Canada is a top global producer of high-protein crops and we’re leading the way with cutting-edge research. This partnership is an excellent example of cooperation across the value chain to grow new crop varieties and bring high-quality protein ingredients to Canadian-made products,” said The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

As a crop growing in both acreage and use in plant-based products, fava is an ideal option for innovative work in the ingredient and finished goods market. Prairie Fava is building on this by growing DL Seeds’ fava varieties and then utilizing them in their patented processing methods, testing them for functionality and feeding information back to DL Seeds in order to inform new variety development. They’ll then supply Three Farmers with fava ingredients for further functionality testing in Three Farmers’ line of snack foods.

“Prairie Fava, DL Seeds and Three Farmers have taken a full value chain approach to strengthening the fava bean supply chain and market in Canada—an approach that’s needed if we’re going to make Canada truly competitive in the global plant protein space,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “By working together across the ecosystem, crop breeders, ingredient manufacturers and food processors can capture the growing global protein opportunity, while providing consumers with a variety of healthy, high-protein snack options.”

The development of each the new varieties, ingredients and finished products will strengthen the supply of fava beans in the Canadian market, helping meet the rising demand for new sources of sustainable protein. The project will also enable each company to scale its product offerings and operations, including at Three Farmers’ recently opened facility in Saskatoon. Together, the partners will create new jobs and new opportunities for Canadians.

A total of $13.2 million has been committed to the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing $5.4 million and the partners investing the remainder.

“Prairie Fava welcomes the opportunity to work with DL Seeds to expand development of high-quality fava varieties for our grower community. Three Farmers is an important partner as they share our corporate goals and passion about agriculture and healthy food,” Prairie Fava Co-Founder Hailey Jefferies said. “We are excited to undertake this new Protein Industries Canada project to extend our knowledge about the versality of fava to others to result in a greater number and range of fava-based products for consumers that will benefit farmers and the environment we rely on.”

“Fava represents a tremendous opportunity for Canada’s food and agriculture sector. DL Seeds is proud to be part of this project to focus on improving fava in ways that benefit consumers as well as producers. Prairie Fava and Three Farmers are tremendous partners and share our vision for the future of fava. We are thrilled to be partnered with these dynamic organizations to innovate and grow the fava value chain,” DL Seeds General Manager Chris Anderson said.

"Three Farmers is thrilled to embark on this journey with our new Protein Industries Canada consortium, dedicated to amplifying production and innovation in the realm of fava beans as a value-added food item. We remain committed to enhancing the agricultural landscape of the prairies, continuously adding value to crops and fostering growth for our communities,” Three Farmers Founder and CEO Natasha Vandenhurk said.

Protein Industries Canada is one of Canada’s five Global Innovation Clusters. Protein Industries Canada and our members are working to embrace the $25 billion opportunity presented by Canada’s ingredient manufacturing, food processing and bio-product sector. Projects such as these add value to, and create new markets for, Canadian crops, generating local jobs and supporting new economic development in locations across Canada. More information can be found at


About Prairie Fava

The food market is seeking new plant-based ingredients that are healthy, sustainable and have good functionality. Fava ingredients are gluten-free, are light in colour and flavour, have high density protein, are rich in nutrients, and come from an environmentally sustainable, non-GMO pulse crop. Fava ingredients can significantly improve flavor and texture and boost nutrition in foods. Prairie Fava is an agrifood ingredient company located in the heart of the Canadian prairies - Glenboro, Man. Prairie Fava was established by Hailey and Cale Jefferies in 2015 and supplies whole fava bean, dehulled split fava bean, and raw and precooked fava flour.

Prairie Fava is the “the fava bean company” supplying high-quality, healthy fava beans, fava ingredients and fava consumer products to the world. Current intellectual property includes the exclusive license in North America for a first ever fava bean variety with a low vicine/covicine content (DL Rico) owned by Manitoba-based seed developer DL Seeds/NPZ. Prairie Fava has secured North American (IP/closed-loop) distribution rights, which provides a competitive advantage for fava marketed into the food industry. Their fava beans are grown sustainably, and they work closely with farmers to ensure high-quality standards. They are dedicated to complete traceability and control of their beans, from seed to shelf. Their flour can be certified as kosher and halal. With plant-based ingredients on the rise, fava is a fantastic ingredient option to help meet demand.


About DL Seeds

DL Seeds is a plant breeding company based in Western Canada developing market class genetics in both hybrid canola and pulses for our distribution partners and their farmer customers. For more information on DL Seeds, access


About Three Farmers

Three Farmers is a producer and provider of pulse and legume-based snacks across North America. Their mission is to connect with consumers by bringing sustainable and quality food products to the marketplace. They are committed to:

  • Producing healthy and wholesome food with natural, quality ingredients.
  • Ensuring products are responsibly and sustainably grown and made.
  • Inviting customers to trace the goodness of their products.
  • Supporting, celebrating and engaging with their communities and neighbours.

For more information, visit


Advancing Canada's fava bean sector with new crops, ingredients and snacks Jefferies family. Photo provided by Prairie Fava.

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