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How Ardent Mills’ Commitment to Innovation Is Nourishing What’s Next

Sponsored by:
Ardent Mills Farmer Connections
Sponsored by:
Ardent Mills Farmer Connections

Buck Vanniejenhuis

General Manager Canada, Ardent Mills

Shrene White

General Manager Emerging Nutrition, Ardent Mills

Ardent Mills’ innovation in emerging nutrition and ESG excellence makes the company a leader in plant-based solutions.

Ardent Mills is revolutionizing how the world is nourished, one grain at a time.

“As the premier flour-milling and ingredient company, we cultivate the future of plant-based solutions to help our customers and communities thrive,” says Buck Vanniejenhuis, General Manager — Canada at Ardent Mills. “Our core values — trust, serving, simplicity, and safety — guide us toward continuous improvement and inspire us to drive innovations that help our people, our customers, and families everywhere flourish.”


The company’s strategic focuses on both emerging nutrition and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives are propelling advancements across plant-based ingredients, nurturing the path for a healthier and more sustainable future for all.

Purpose-powered innovation

With over 40 locations across North America that specialize in flour, quinoa, pulses, and organic and gluten-free products, Ardent Mills is leading the way in sustainable agriculture and diverse, innovative plant-based food offerings.

“Our approach to innovation is uniquely designed to help us expand our product portfolio with plant-based solutions and safety treatments that meet consumer demands, align with customer goals, and help communities improve health and nutrition,” says Vanniejenhuis. “We call this purpose-powered innovation.”

Ardent Mills’ goal is to help manufacturers identify their challenges and turn them into opportunities. The company combines business, supply chain assurance, product, and research and development (R&D) expertise with consumer and industry insights to design a roadmap that helps manufacturers reach their product goals.

“A key part of this is keeping up with the demand for and driving innovation in alternative grains, such as sorghum, quinoa, and chickpea,” says Shrene White, General Manager — Emerging Nutrition at Ardent Mills. “Because consumers are more health-conscious than ever, they’re interested in the added value ancient grains can help offer — nutrition, sustainability, and more.”

Emerging Nutrition  

That’s why Ardent Mills recently launched Emerging Nutrition, its alternative grains centre of expertise that brings together ingredient experts and supply chain specialists to work with customers to identify their specific needs. “Recently, the innovation led by our Emerging Nutrition teams resulted in several gluten-free product launches designed to simplify and enhance gluten-free eating for consumers in Canada, including Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour Blend, and Gluten-Free Pizza Flour Blend, and future launches to include Ardent Mills Egg Replace and, Ancient Grains Plus™ Baking Flour Blend,” says White.

The company also boasts a state-of-the-art network of Ardent Mills Innovation Centres — which allow customers to work with its hands-on, cross-functional team of chefs, R&D experts, and food scientists to develop, analyze, and test the latest ingredients and applications — as well as Ardent Mills Bakery Resources, a company division dedicated to the art and science of artisanal bread-making at scale.

A commitment to sustainability

The Ardent Mills team has its finger on the pulse when it comes to investing in innovative processes. Its innovation drivers — the why behind the trends, discovered through its proprietary research — include functional foods, sustainable solutions, and more.

The company’s focus on sustainable farming practices, including regenerative agriculture (“a way of farming that aims to create a more sustainable future for crop production by ensuring highly productive and profitable farmland, improving soil health and conserving water,” according to White), stems from a sense of responsibility, as stewards of the natural resources that bring grain-based foods to a hungry world.

As the premier flour-milling and ingredient company, we cultivate the future of plant-based solutions to help our customers and communities thrive.

“We designed our new ESG framework to weave sustainability into the fabric of our business operations and protect the long-term viability of our food system and supply chain,” says Vanniejenhuis.

A new ESG framework 

Ardent Mills’ ESG framework is called Nourish: Intention and Impact, and is guided by four pillars: communities, people, planet, and ingredients. Goals within the framework cover all key aspects of the company’s business and support innovation. “This includes focusing on reducing food insecurity, improving nutrition access and community engagement, investing in R&D opportunities, and innovating in spaces like Emerging Nutrition and food safety solutions,” says Vanniejenhuis.

It also includes a commitment to helping ensure a stable supply chain. “This starts with being a trusted supplier partner with the right tools, relationships, and communication critical to establishing a clear picture of supply and demand,” says Vanniejenhuis. “This enables our team of culinary and R&D experts to provide end-to-end counselling to our customers and help them create and test formulations, adjust applications, and innovate with traditional and alternative grains in ways that directly impact the market.”

Learn more about how Ardent Mills is nourishing what’s next at ardentmills.ca.

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