The facility, adjacent to an existing processing plant in Morristown, Indiana, is expected to be commissioned in mid-2025.
According to the commodity trading giant, the new fully integrated soy protein concentrate and textured soy protein concentrate facility will add significant scale, efficiencies, and non-GMO capability to Bunge’s portfolio.
“This will be a huge step change in quality and functionality compared to what is available today in the market,” Brian Douville, Bunge’s vice president of specialty ingredients, said Thursday during a groundbreaking.
The facility will boost Bunge’s processing capacity in Morristown by 4.5 million bushels (123,000 metric tons) of soybeans annually. Bunge also plans to use farmers in the region to supply non-GMO soybeans so it can export food-grade soymeal to the European market.
This new addition will welcome an additional 70 employees to the 110 colleagues who currently work at this location after its commissioning in the next two years.
This facility will be serving a growing consumer demand for these ingredients, used for plant-based foods, processed meats, pet food, and feed products.
The plant will sort grains based on characteristics such as color, size, and humidity levels to produce higher quality, food-grade protein concentrates for meatless products.
After the early success of Beyond Meat Inc. and Impossible Foods Inc., demand for plant-based proteins has waned as high prices and odd tastes and textures made it easy to cross them off shopping lists.
The groundbreaking ceremony was graced by Congressman Greg Pence, state and local leaders, and guests from the surrounding community.
In other news, Bunge and Chevron’s Renewable Energy Group Inc., a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, acquired Chacraservicios S.r.l., based in Argentina, from the Italian-based Adamant Group.
Chacraservicios is focused on the cultivation of Camelina Sativa, a cover crop with high oil content, that benefits farmers, consumers, and the environment. Bunge plans to provide Chacraservicios crush tolling and management services.
This latest investment in novel seeds adds a new oil source to Bunge and Chevron’s global supply chains and will help both companies meet the growing demand for lower-carbon renewable feedstocks.
“Across our business, our decision-making process includes a focus on carbon. Investing in this new oilseed crop is another step towards our goal of expanding lower carbon intensity feedstocks to help meet the growing demand for renewable fuels,” said Fernando Candia, Bunge’s Vice-President Carbon Solutions.
While the terms of the transaction remain undisclosed, as a leader in oilseed processing, Bunge sees it as a great opportunity to bring innovative crop solutions to farmers and process them into sustainable solutions for consumers.