The Financial Times reports that plant-based meat companies relying on the pea as a key ingredient are set to be hit by the severe drought in Canada this year. A leading supplier warns it has led to soaring crop prices.
.French company Roquette, which processes the legume and counts Beyond Meat as one of its customers, said this week that the plant protein sector was “facing an unprecedented situation”.
Pea availability was “challenged” and the price increases would “inevitably lead to costs being transferred to customers” the group said.
Prices of peas in Canada have more than doubled as the world’s largest producer suffered sharp declines in production after the worst drought in a century. Alongside Canada, Europe has suffered from low yields and in France, another large pea-producing country, the crop has been severely damaged by wet weather during the harvest, said Roquette.
Although accounting for just 2 per cent of total plant-based proteins, according to commodities data firm Mintec, peas have been the fastest-growing category used by food companies. Soya is the most abundant and cheapest source of plant-based protein, but it is also an allergen, and often genetically modified in the US. It is also abundant in plant oestrogen, leading to fears among some consumers about adverse health effects.