Farmers Edge, a global leader in digital agriculture, today announced a strategic collaboration with Merit Functional Foods (Merit) to source non-GMO canola and pea plant-based proteins from growers with data-driven farming practices.

Through this alliance, Farmers Edge growers now can take advantage of enticing premiums being offered by Merit-a tangible reward for maintaining accurate data records across their farm that verify specific crop characteristics required for the proteins, such as herbicide use and soy- or gluten-free rotations.

Plant-based eating is on the rise globally, and the market for plant proteins continues to skyrocket. The industry is projected to reach US$35.54 billion in 2024, according to a recent report. Along with an increased need for plant proteins comes a burgeoning demand for transparency in the market and the ability to trace the origin of foods back to the farm.

Traceability audits have gone from a one-page checklist to a binder of paperwork to verify crop production data. Using FarmCommand, Farmers Edge comprehensive digital platform, all field data, including crop types, plant dates, applications, predicted yields, harvested yields, and historical practices, are automatically stored in an organized, secure, and consistent format.

With access to this information, traceability becomes a clear-cut process; Farmers Edge growers can diversify their portfolio of market opportunities to meet the evolving needs of consumers, and food companies can more easily source top quality ingredients with the verified records they need for labelling and marketing.

“Merit’s protein ingredient solutions offer unmatched purity, exceptional taste, and solubility,” said Dan Kraft, VP of Operations for Merit. “This collaboration pairs our disruptive protein solutions with Farmers Edge bold innovations to help us source the highest quality, verified ingredients for our customers, while rewarding growers for their modern farming practices. Merit is excited to partner with Farmers Edge and their growers to build solutions that allow us to efficiently and effectively trace Merit’s products back to the farm.”

“As a farmer myself, I know how burdensome and time-consuming collecting data manually can be, especially now with a global focus on traceability,” said Wade Barnes, Farmers Edge CEO and co-founder.

“Our unique infrastructure equips growers with tools to manage data digitally, to track applications automatically, and to generate reports more effortlessly. Let’s face it, sorting through spreadsheets or digging around in your truck for notepads and scraps of paper where you jotted information down isn’t efficient or reliable. This collaboration with Merit aims to reward growers for their high-tech practices and add another layer of value to digital adoption. The ROI of our platform goes beyond sound decision-making, and direct access to higher premiums is another example of that,” said Barnes.