Red Leaf – A Key Player in the Value-Added Biomass Manufacturing Space

You’ve been hearing us more around the Regina area lately.
From a recent appearance on CJME radio:
In March, Red Leaf Pulp (RLP) held two events drawing a crowd of over sixty attendees over two days. We presented to the Emerald Park/White City Business Group hosted by Kevin Rossler. The day after, we held our own casual information sharing event for producers.

One of the key themes that emerged through discussions with producers was RLP’s unique value-added manufacturing processes for agriculture biomass, or what the pulp industry calls alternative fibre. More specifically, when RLP purchases your straw, we convert that into a higher margin product. That is the essence of value-added manufacturing– we convert cereal straw to alternative fibre pulp for a growing global market and more of the biodegradable products consumers are looking for. We thought we’d give you our insights on how the value-added manufacturing of fibre is an opportunity to diversify producers’ revenue.

Considering the value added in the processing of the two outputs of grain harvesting, fibre (straw) and, ultimately, food:

For fibre, after processing the product becomes more stable – “the paper plate lasts longer than the sandwich on top of it”. While processing grain into the end product, e.g. bread, makes the ingredients into a consumable product with a shelf life that requires manufacturing close to the consumers. So bread factories are mainly in urban areas. As the vast majority of the grain produced in Saskatchewan is exported, there is very little opportunity for adding value.

We envision a value added opportunity in converting straw to pulp which can be manufactured into a variety of products – locally or exported. We see this strengthening the food supply chain and offering a profit-sharing program of up to an additional 50% on the straw provided by producers. The bonus amount depends on the pulp market but producers could receive a large portion of their cereal crop net revenue from the straw. (Find out more here.)

RLP’s Unique Position in the Biomass Space

Red Leaf Pulp specialises in innovative, value-added products such as Market Pulp, Pellets, and Lignin. Red Leaf is proud to produce Canada’s first climate-positive alternative fibre, with proprietary processes that reduce water, reagent, and energy use. Additionally, Red Leaf’s sulphur-free lignin, recovered through a patented process, finds potential applications in plastics, biomaterials, electronics, and batteries. By transforming Fibre into value-added products, Red Leaf contributes to advancing agriculture while promoting sustainability in the creation of physical products, complementary to food security.

History

Saskatchewan has experienced growth with the emergence of value-added processing facilities, enhancing raw agricultural commodities and creating new market opportunities. This led to the province becoming a major supplier of processed food products to domestic and international markets.

https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2015/february/09/ag-exorts-record “For the fourth straight year, Saskatchewan has set a record for agri-food exports with total sales of $13.9 billion, once again achieving the standing of Canada’s top agri-food exporting province.”

Simultaneously, a shift towards sustainable farming practices occurred, with farmers adopting conservation tillage, crop rotation, and precision agriculture to minimize environmental impact and improve efficiency. Innovation in biotechnology and digital farming continues to optimise yields while reducing inputs. Presently, Saskatchewan focuses on value-added innovation and diversification, developing new processing facilities and alternative protein industries to create higher-value products and enhance the agricultural sector’s resilience and competitiveness. (Find out more here.)

Sources: https://www.cbre.ca/insights/articles/cargill-crushing-plant-will-keep-canola-processing-local
https://www.canada.ca/en/agriculture-agri-food/news/2021/11/government-of-canada-helps-meet-global-demand-for-sustainable-protein-products.html
https://natural-resources.canada.ca/climate-change/canadas-green-future/clean-fuels-fund/23734

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