After a year and a half of planning and preparation, ground has broken on Simpson Seeds expansion into value added processing of lentils, right here in Moose Jaw. 

Members of the Simpson Seeds team, Mayor Clive Tolley, and Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan MP Fraser Tolmie gathered in front of the site of the new plant to officially celebrate the beginning of construction. 

Construction on the plant is anticipated to be completed in early 2025 and will add between four to six new full-time positions to the Moose Jaw job market. 

Upon completion, the approximately 7000 square foot facility will allow for expanded processing of lentils and other pulse crops from within the region into various products, such as flour, and to increase the market potential and value to said crops.  

Doing this processing locally serves to counter the historic trend of offshoring the final steps of production— and by extension, the increased return on investment— seen by bringing those products directly to the consumer. 

“It continues to give our producers and the province a reason to grow pulses,” said Nicole Allport, Simpson Seeds Director of Value-Added Operations. “It’s really a tip of the cap to them because we grow the best. It's nice to be able to do something here with it.” 

Mayor Tolley commented on the importance of having these kinds of facilities returning to operate in Moose Jaw. 

People originally brought their products to Moose Jaw to be processed, and now we’re doing it again,” Tolley said.  

“We’re going to process lentils, peas, all different kinds of products here at Simpson Seeds in Moose Jaw. It’s an opportunity for us to create more jobs here in the City of Moose Jaw, do things here at home rather than ship that work elsewhere in the world.” 

Simpson Seeds' history in the trade of lentils and other pulses alongside the evolving market for sustainable, plant-based protein sources were cited by Allport as one of the main drivers for bringing the facility online. 

“We’ve always been known for high-quality lentils; it was a natural shift to lentils to start. It just so happens to work out that we are sneaking in on a growing industry trend,” said Allport. 

“Everybody still has meat in their diet, but everybody’s looking to eat that little bit healthier. So, it’s amazing that you can have pasta or something else that is 100 per cent lentil, it’s healthy for you, it’s grown here, it’s a great supplement to anybody’s regular diet.” 

Part of the facility's funding was obtained through the Business Scale-up and Productivity program and the Saskatchewan Lean Improvements in Manufacturing (SLIM) program. The aim of which is to help agri-businesses procure state-of-the-art technologies that improve productivity and efficiency and reduce greenhouse emissions.  

Contracts for the construction of the facility also further the goal of stimulating the local economy, as they are being awarded to companies within the Moose Jaw area.