New value-added venture
June 01, 2001
The Lewis and Clark Bean and Pea Growers Association, LLC announces that plans are underway to establish a new state-of-the-art agricultural value-added processing plant in Garrison, North Dakota. The total value of the project is projected to be approximately $4.5 million dollars.
The Association is conducting an equity drive to build a plant will produce premium quality powders and flours from legumes (edible beans, peas, lentils, etc.) for both human and animal consumption. The most common human food product applications include soups, sauces, and gravies. Some powders are used in pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. Legume fractions also have a variety of future applications, which include, but are not limited to, food supplements in baby food, pasta, and health foods.
According to a press release from the Association, the Lewis and Clark project has been in development since May 1999, when a market study was commissioned to determine the feasibility of establishing a value-added processing operation in McLean County, N.D.
At the completion of the study, legume (bean) flour and powders (as food additives) and fractionated flours and powders (starch, protein, and fiber) were identified as being viable value-added opportunities.
In July 1999, Lewis and Clark board members learned of a company in Minneapolis, Minnesota that had recently developed some proprietary technology in the production of legume powders and flours. Up to this time, the company had used small contract manufacturers, under the security of a confidentiality agreement, to produce a limited supply of product for their customers. Most recently, the demand from those customers had outgrown the companys ability to supply a large enough volume of product.
Lewis and Clark and Fiberich Legume Technologies (FLT) entered into an exclusive joint venture agreement. The partnership agreement allows Lewis and Clark to focus its resources on the development of new value-added manufacturing capabilities and FLT to concentrate its resources on new product and market (sales) development. In turn, both companies will further develop their own core strengths allowing them to fully maintain their competitive positions.
In January 2000, Lewis and Clark retained an independent consulting company (TEAM Marketing, Inc., Wahpeton, ND) to determine the financial viability of the project. If research indicated the project should move forward, the consultant was also asked to prepare a formal business plan so that the project could be funded. The business plan was completed in February 2001.
Garrison, North Dakota was recently chosen as the location for the new plant. The community is located just off of Highway 83 between Bismarck and Minot. The decision to locate the project in Garrison came after several McLean county communities were introduced to the project and proposals for their support of the same were submitted for review. The proposals were evaluated against a series of industry recognized site selection criteria. Also considered were the various monetary and tax incentives offered by the cities in support of the project.
Most recently, Lewis and Clark submitted its business plan to the North Dakota State Securities Commission for approval so that it could begin raising the funds needed to finance the project. Several state funding programs and banking institutions have already been contacted and have expressed their support contingent on the companys ability to raise the necessary equity capital. Project leaders are now meeting with individuals, companies, and investment groups in order to raise the one million dollars needed to move forward with the project. Note that as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) the project is open to investment by any person or company located in North Dakota. A comprehensive business plan is available for review by all prospective investors.
Contingent upon completion of the equity drive, the construction of the Lewis and Clark Bean and Pea Growers Association, LLC value-added processing plant is scheduled to begin this spring with completion projected late in 2001.
For more information about the Lewis and Clark Bean and Pea Growers Association value added processing project or for information on how to become an investor, please contact the Lewis and Clark Bean and Pea Growers Association, LLC via the Garrison Area Improvement Association at 701-463-2631.