REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA — Scoular on Jan. 12 announced the opening of its new high-speed flax processing facility in Regina, the first flax plant to open in Western Canada in nearly 10 years.

Scoular said the plant opening coincides with a strong flax market and record-high prices in Canada. Drought in North America, a tight global supply, and growing demand for pet food and flax oil have led to strengthening prices at the farmgate level.

Growing consumer awareness of the health benefits of flaxseed — a non-GMO source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber — has helped boost demand, Scoular said. World demand for vegetable oils continues to climb and will continue to strengthen flax’s position as a viable, healthy fat source.

Scoular said the new facility underscores the company’s ongoing commitment to providing marketing opportunities for Canadian farmers. Scoular and its predecessors have been a partner in the Canadian flax market for more than 30 years.

“Our new facility is a testament to Scoular’s dedication to Canadian producers,” said Drew Fossum, product group manager at Scoular. “We are committed to providing these growers a competitive market for their flax.”

The facility incorporates technology that enables it to deliver some of the highest purity flax available on the market. The facility also meets the highest level of food safety standards certified to the rigorous Global Food Safety Initiative benchmarked to the FSSC 22000 standard, the company said.

“The facility has outstanding capabilities,” Fossum said. “It further strengthens Scoular’s position as a reliable and consistent supplier of flax to our customers.”

The plant produces whole and milled flax available in the brown or golden categories for a range of applications, including for bread, cereal, bars, snacks and pasta to oils, supplements, pet food, and livestock feed. The facility also holds organic certification.

Canada is the world leader in flax production, and Regina, located in south-central Saskatchewan, is in the heart of the country’s flax-growing region. More than 80% of the country’s flax is grown in Saskatchewan. Regina also provides excellent access to both rail and trucking for transporting the flax to and from the facility, according to Scoular.

“The location of our new facility is perfect for Western Canada, our producers and our customers,” Fossum said.