Canadian consumer packaged meats company Maple Leaf Foods, along with its subsidiary Greenleaf Foods SPC, has revealed plans to build a $310m plant-based protein facility in Shelbyville, Indiana, US.

Maple Leaf Foods claims that the 230,000ft² plant will be the largest facility and investment of its kind in North America.

The facility, which will produce tempeh, franks, sausages and raw foods, will double the company’s existing manufacturing capacity and support a pipeline of innovation to meet rising consumer demand and fuel market growth.

Maple Leaf Foods president and CEO Michael McCain said: “With Lightlife and Field Roast, we own the leading brands in the North American refrigerated plant-based protein market.

“We will continue to meet the rapidly growing demand for delicious protein alternatives and create a centre of excellence for innovation.”

“This investment will secure our ongoing leadership in this rapidly expanding market. By establishing a large-scale North American network, we will continue to meet the rapidly growing demand for delicious protein alternatives and create a centre of excellence for innovation.

“It will escalate the financial contribution of this business and advance Maple Leaf’s vision to be the most sustainable protein company on earth.”

The Shelbyville facility will secure about $50m in government and utility grants and incentives, which includes $9.6m toward capital and one-time start-up costs, as well as $40m to support operations for a period of ten years.

Approximately 460 people are expected to be employed at the Shelbyville plant upon completion of the start-up.

Construction work at the site will begin later this year and production is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The Canadian firm said it will invest nearly $26m to keep pace with the ongoing growth in demand at its existing plants.

Maple Leaf anticipates that the investment would further strengthen its presence in the plant-based protein market.

Last November, Maple Leaf Foods unveiled its plans to build a poultry facility in London, Ontario, with an investment of C$660m ($497m).