Mr. Peter Kappel reports
BURCON ANNOUNCES CEO TRANSITION
Johann Tergesen will be stepping down as president and chief executive officer of Burcon NutraScience Corp.
Mr. Tergesen will remain chief executive officer until either a successor is appointed by the company's board of directors, or no later than Feb. 28, 2022. To ensure an orderly transition, he will continue in a continuing capacity as an adviser to the company and Burcon's board of directors. The company has engaged Kincannon & Reed, an executive search firm specializing in the food and agribusiness sectors, to assist in recruiting a new chief executive officer.
"As a co-founder and management team member for more than 23 years, Johann has played an influential role in Burcon's development," said Peter H. Kappel, chairman of Burcon's board of directors, adding: "With the completion of the commissioning of phase 1 of Merit Functional Food's new state-of-the-art protein production facility, the groundwork has been laid for Burcon to grow and thrive. On behalf of the board of directors and the entire team at Burcon, I want to express our sincere gratitude to Johann for his considerable contribution."
"Burcon's team shared a vision of being the first to bring-to-market functionally and nutritionally valuable proteins from canola," said Johann F. Tergesen, Burcon's president and chief executive officer, adding: "Now, with multiple plant-based proteins, including the world's first human-food-grade canola protein, being sustainably produced at Merit Functional Food's new production facility, and the potential for additional commercial partnerships developing, I have decided to focus on other pursuits for the next stage in my life. There is no right time to leave a business that one has put his heart and soul into for over two decades, but Burcon's prospects are now at the point of commercial realization and I leave the business in the capable hands of our talented and driven team and board of directors. It has been a highly rewarding experience for me to both lead and work alongside of Burcon's team during the past 23 years. I am confident of and look forward to seeing Burcon's technologies thrive in the global marketplace."
A growing preference for sustainable, healthier foods is propelling the plant-based food and beverage industry, in literally every category, around the globe. With plant-based eating poised for explosive growth, Burcon's joint venture company, Merit Functional Foods, is ramping up production volumes and sales at its new state-of-the-art plant protein production facility in Winnipeg, Man. Merit, a joint venture among Burcon, multinational agribusiness and food company Bunge Ltd. and three veteran food industry executives, has completed the $130-million first phase of its planned three-phase plant protein production facility, designed and built to exclusively produce Burcon's patented proteins.
In the past quarter, Merit announced that phase 1 at the first-of-its-kind plant protein facility is now commercially ready and capable of producing the high-purity pea and canola proteins using Burcon's technology. The highly differentiated Peazazz and Peazac pea proteins and the Puratein line of canola proteins, which are now being produced at Merit's facility under an exclusive licence from Burcon, are ideal for use as ingredients in plant-based food and beverage applications. Consumer products using these best-in-class pea and canola proteins are already appearing on store shelves and being enjoyed by consumers.
On top of the positive momentum at Merit, Burcon continues to advance discussions and negotiations with potential partners on additional plant-based protein opportunities. These opportunities have arisen from research and development work conducted at Burcon's Winnipeg technical centre. Burcon's best-in-class proteins have the potential to establish themselves as premium products in the rapidly expanding plant-based food and beverage industry and alternative protein market.
About Burcon NutraScience Corp.
Burcon is a global technology leader in the development of plant-based proteins for foods and beverages. With over two decades of experience formulating high-purity proteins that have superior functionality, taste and nutrition, Burcon has amassed an extensive patent portfolio covering its novel plant-based proteins derived from pea, canola, soy, hemp, sunflower seed, among other plant sources. In 2019, Merit Functional Foods Corp. was established between Burcon and three veteran food industry executives. Merit Foods has since built a state-of-the-art protein production facility in Manitoba, Canada, that is producing, under licence from Burcon, best-in-class pea and canola proteins for the food and beverage industries.
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