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Earlier this year, we shared the news that Canada’s largest meat processor, Maple Leaf Foods acquired Lightlife Foods, a plant-based company known for products such as tempeh, vegan sausages, and burgers. Maple Leaf Foods must clearly understand the rise of plant-based foods because they recently bought vegan company Field Roast Grain Meat for $120 million along with other related costs.

This doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering the plant-based food sector is a booming. According to some estimates, the plant-based meat market is set to reach $5.2 billion by 2020 and could make up one-third of the market by 2050. This move away from meat is largely due to consumers’ rising concerns about animal welfare, personal health, and importantly, sustainability – which has been a major focus for Maple Foods recently.

“The acquisition of Field Roast complements and expands our portfolio in the fast-growing North American market for alternative proteins. It also aligns with our vision to be a leader in sustainable protein and create shared value through making a positive social impact,” Michael McCain, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, told PR News Wire.

This is a great move considering a number of other large food conglomerates have made similar acquisitions recently. Tyson Foods, Inc., the world’s largest meat producer, has a five percent ownership stake in plant-based protein producer Beyond Meat (Tyson’s CEO also recently shared why he is excited about plant-based protein!). Food giant Nestlé recently bought Sweet Earth Natural Foods, a Californian-based company known for vegan meals and snacks made from plant-based proteins. Not to mention, major beef supplier Cargill recently sold off the last of their cattle feedlots and is focusing on transitioning their meat department to more broadly focus on “proteins,” denoting the inclusion of plant-based proteins – they also made an investment in Memphis Meats, a company working on lab-cultured meat.

While some may be hesitant to embrace these huge companies getting involved in the plant-based sector, we are reaching a time where the question of how we are going to feed a growing population that is set to reach nine billion by 2050 cannot be ignored.

Demand for protein in the developed and developing world is at an all-time high, with the average person in the U.S. consuming 103 grams per day, around double the actual recommended amount. The animal agriculture system already covers over 45 percent of the world’s land mass, uses a majority of finite freshwater water resources, and is responsible for rampant air and water pollution – not to mention is the largest singular source of global greenhouse gas emissions. Even with all the resources that this industry uses, nearly one billion people still go hungry. The fact is, we need big companies like Maple Leaf Foods to get involved in shifting our broken food system away from animal agriculture and towards a more sustainable one centered around plant-based proteins instead.

To learn more about the environmental impact of our food choices as well as trends and developments in the plant-based food space, check out our podcast #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias.

Image Source: Field Roast Grain Meat/Facebook 

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94 comments on “Canada’s Largest Meat Processor Acquires Vegan Meat Company, Field Roast”

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hm
11 Days ago

I think boycotting companies that sell to meat based companies is a disservice for the vegan community. This has the potential to reach more people.

If you boycott, then prices get raised....then they discontinue making the products. And then we have less meat eaters eating veggie options.

If these vegan products continue to sell well or even better than the meat and dairy counterparts...well the companies may stop investing in animal agrif*ckture.

Look at the big picture.(we should embrace those that want to make a change...even if it is just to make more money. Money speaks, show them that there is a greater demand for animal free meats)


Reply
Amy Wilson
11 Days ago

Just found this company and like their products. Not buying anymore now. So sad!


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Stephanie Selznick
11 Days ago

Why doesn't big vegan companies buy meat companies and shut them down. Animals deserve this.


Reply
Andy Mars
11 Days ago

Some may call it boycotting, but others may call it more optimally carefully and consciously selecting who to support with our limited purchasing dollars. I will prefer to most support Tofurky for their extremely admirable and committed integrity in remaining an actually vegan owned company despite financially rewarding opportunities otherwise.


Reply
Vince
11 Days ago

It\'s an interesting decision.

I can easily see both sides to the argument - about how this may be beneficial and how it may not be. From an ethical standpoint, the idea is debatable. But practically, it could mean cheaper products and more options, which is certainly appealing.


Reply
Victoria Monteblanco
12 Days ago

Santino Monteblanco


Reply
Tony Gluszek
12 Days ago

Shit .... it happened with Gardien and that pissed me off .... sellouts


Reply
Gino M Muniz
12 Days ago

Quien lo diria increible.


Reply
Bonita Goodrich
12 Days ago

Bring the price down!


Reply
Kelsey Kapsch
12 Days ago

Zach Ewald , shall we stand and discontinue fr products, or hope this is a positive shift for veganisim?


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Zach Ewald
03 Dec 2017

Damn! Field Roast has some of the best faux meats. We should look into the company buying them out and see if there are other ethical dilemmas(aside from the slaughter of animals). :/

Kelsey Kapsch
03 Dec 2017

Apparently they've had some animal cruelty issues, which is why most people refuse to support the "win" for vegans. I will research into the claims

Zach Ewald
03 Dec 2017

If we decide to ditch their products we should force Tofurky to send us their vegan pizza pockets! :D

Kelsey Kapsch
03 Dec 2017

That or get herbivores butcher products shipped directly to us



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