Made With Plants launches at Coles

© Made With Plants

Retail & E-Commerce

Australia’s Made With Plants Expands Into 500+ Coles Stores

Made With Plants, an Australian company producing meat and dairy alternatives, has announced it is expanding into over 500 Coles stores across the country. Coles customers can now purchase Made With Plants’ plant-based bacon, chicken, ham, and grated mozzarella. The ham and chicken are made from seitan, the bacon is soy-based, and the mozzarella is made from sunflower and coconut oils. Coles previously told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2022 that it was working to offer more plant-based options, after seeing a “rise in the flexitarian and people seeking out alternative protein sources”. A report published in May found that plant-based meat sales surged by 47% in Australia and New Zealand between 2020 and 2023, noting that the price gap between conventional meat and plant-based …

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A drink made with leaf protein

© The Leaf Protein Co.

Investments & Finance

The Leaf Protein Co. Secures $850K to Unlock the Highly Nutritious Rubisco Protein for F&B

The Leaf Protein Co., an Australian agritech startup extracting Rubisco proteins from green leaves, has raised $850,000 in a pre-seed round to accelerate its growth and propel the commercialization of its sustainable protein solutions for the F&B industry. The University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-seed Fund led the raise. LaunchVic’s Hugh Victor McKay Fund (supporting local agtech startups) and Loyal VC participated. With the new capital, the startup will expand its staff, optimize its pilot plant, and enhance its protein extraction methods to bring its leaf proteins to market. Hun Gan, CEO of Genesis Pre-Seed Fund, expressed pride and support on behalf of the University of Melbourne, acknowledging the significant progress the startup has made and highlighting the potential of innovations to improve people’s lives, tackle …

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Australian plant-based meat producer ProForm Foods enters voluntary administration

© ProForm Foods

Company News

Australian Plant-Based Meat Producer ProFrom Foods Enters Voluntary Administration

ProForm Foods, an Australian plant-based meat company and producer of the MEET brand, has entered voluntary administration. Gayle Dickerson and James Dampney of financial advisory firm KPMG Australia have been appointed as administrators, and the first meeting of creditors was reportedly held on May 30. ProForm Foods will continue to operate as normal during the administration process, with MEET products — which include mince, burgers, and tenders — remaining on supermarket shelves. ProForm Foods began operations in 2005 as a research and development company producing protein ingredients, before launching MEET in 2008. The company claims to have been Australia’s first commercial plant protein producer, and has developed a technology called ProForm High Moisture Cooking to improve the taste and texture of meat alternatives. As well …

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daisy lab's team

© Image courtesy of Daisy Lab

Fermentation

Yeast Instead of Cows: Daisy Lab Obtains EPA Approval to Scale Whey Proteins

New Zealand’s precision fermentation biotech Daisy Lab announces that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has approved the expansion of its dairy protein platform to 5,000 L. The endorsement follows the successful production of animal-identical whey proteins in 10 L fermenters announced in January. Day Lab states that this approval marks another significant milestone in scaling and commercializing its technology, enabling it to construct a pilot facility.  CSO and co-founder Dr. Nicole Freed highlights the role of the EPA in helping Daisy Lab deal with the legal aspects related to genetic technologies. She shares: “We invested significant time and resources into preparing our application, and it’s gratifying to see our efforts pay off. This is a crucial step forward for Daisy Lab and for precision fermentation technology in New …

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nuggets at V Honest

© Honest Burgers

Studies & Numbers

Report: Plant-Based Meat Sales Surge by 47%, Price Parity Gap Closes in Australian Market

Food Frontier, an independent think tank on alternative proteins in Australia and New Zealand, has released its 2023 State of the Industry report. It reveals the growth of the plant-based meat sector, an increase in per-capita consumption and foodservice sales, and positive developments regarding price parity. Looking at the general landscape, the analysis shows that the plant-based meat industry is growing despite navigating the challenges of a new food category, economic difficulties, inflation, and the dried investment environment. The figures show that plant-based meat sales increased by 47% between 2020 and 2023, and per-capita consumption increased by 28%.  Dr Simon Eassom, CEO of Food Frontier, commented on the report, “Despite the economic challenges faced by plant-based meat companies here and overseas it’s evident that the industry is here …

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Jooules' team.

CFO Luke Stevenson (L), Founder David McLellan, and Research Scientist Usama Mukhtar © Jooules

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Jooules Secures NZ$1M to Transform CO2 into Complete Protein Ingredients

Jooules, a New Zealand startup that turns greenhouse gas emissions into protein ingredients, has secured NZ$1 million in a pre-seed round led by early-stage investor Sprout Agritech LP. David McLellan, a participant in the Sprout Accelerator program, founded Jooules to transform protein production with an animal and land-free process that delivers a climate-positive ingredient.   A pioneer in New Zealand, the startup leverages cutting-edge science, gaseous fermentation, and specific microbe strains that consume CO2 and turn it into a complete protein powder.  With the new capital, the startup plans to grow its technical team and scale its platform while it develops products in collaboration with the Crown research entity SCION.  Warren Bebb, investment manager at Sprout, shares, “They’ve invented a way to address a global challenge that uses …

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Magic Valley introduces new cultivated pork bao buns at public tasting

Image courtesy of Magic Valley

Cultivated Meat

Magic Valley’s Cultivated Pork Impresses with “Indistinguishable” Flavor at Tasting Event

Australian firm Magic Valley, a cultivated meat company at the forefront of scalable solutions, debuted a new product —cultivated pork bao buns — at a recent tasting at John Gorilla Café in Brunswick. The event brought together a wide range of attendees from different industries, all intrigued by future technology, advancements in food technology, and the alternative protein sector, according to the announcement. Magic Valley claims to have developed a scalable platform for growing beef, lamb, and pork without fetal bovine serum using iPSC (induced pluripotent stem cell) technology. This tech allows cells to grow indefinitely to create unlimited quantities of meat. On the right track However, while producing volumes to stay competitive in the food industry is essential, Magic Valley’s primary goal is to replicate …

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Integra Foods, the new ingredients division of Australian Grain Export (AGE), has opened a faba bean protein facility in Dublin, South Australia.

© Integra Foods

Manufacturing & Technology

Integra Foods Breaks New Ground with Faba Bean Protein Facility in South Australia

Integra Foods, the new ingredients division of Australian Grain Export (AGE), has opened a faba bean protein facility in Dublin, South Australia. The facility, part of AGE’s $20 million vertically integrated value-adding precinct in South Australia’s Mid-North region, leverages sustainable and energy-efficient protein separation techniques. The new plant, described as a state-of-the-art facility, is set to produce 15,000 metric tons of “all-natural” and sustainable concentrates annually for innovative faba bean-based products. Mr. Tim Martin, managing director of Integra Foods, shared: “We’re proud to lead in developing Australia’s plant protein industry and launching South Australia’s newest industry.” Dry fractionation tech Unlike wet fractionating methods, the ingredients company uses pioneering dry fractionation, which does not require water, acids, alkalis, solvents, or drying to separate proteins and starches. …

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Stuart McAlpine Lupin Crop, WOA

Stuart McAlpine with Lupin Crop © WOA

Agriculture / Agribusiness

WOA Pioneers Novel Lupin Fiber, a By-Product of Lupin Powder, Marking “Significant Stride” for Food Industry

Wide Open Agriculture announces it has successfully developed a groundbreaking lupin fiber, characterized by a smooth texture, solubility, and neutral taste, which is ready for commercialization. The anticipated market introduction of this lupin fiber is poised to enhance revenues and profit margins of the company’s production operations in Germany as it transforms what was previously considered a waste by-product into a lucrative revenue source. In collaboration with Curtin University, Wide Open Agriculture has also pioneered the creation of Buntine Protein® powder, a world-first innovation derived from lupins, and holds the exclusive, globally protected patent for this product. The lupin fiber in question emerges as a secondary by-product of Buntine Protein production. Notably, both the lupin fiber and Buntine Protein® boast solubility and are capable of …

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Vegan Whole Cut Steak

©Chunk Foods/ The Butcher's Daughter

Sustainability / Environment

Study Finds Plant-Based Beef Significantly More Sustainable Than Traditional Beef

A research team from Macquarie University in Australia has conducted a comparative study analyzing papers from various countries on the sustainability and nutrition of beef versus plant-based beef, revealing some interesting results. Plant-based beef was found to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions, with reductions ranging from 86% to 97% in various studies. Plant-based beef also requires less land, estimated to be less than 5%.  “Roughly 75 % of global agricultural land is for animal production while animal-based foods provide only 18 % human calories and 25 % protein in global good supply,” states the paper. The new research also shows that plant-based beef, particularly burgers, generally have lower energy and saturated fat content but lower levels of protein compared to beef. Emission sources Cattle contribute to emissions primarily …

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Sunfed Meats Bull Free Beef Raw Prime Diced

©Sunfed

Company News

Australian Supermarkets Withdraw Plant-Based Brand Sunfed Meats From Shelves

New Zealand-headquartered plant-based meat brand Sunfed Meats is reportedly no longer available in Australia, with supermarket chains Woolworths and Coles confirming that they no longer stock the brand’s products. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Sunfed’s valuation has been reduced to zero by its leading investor, Blackbird Ventures, though neither Sunfed nor the investment firm appears to have commented on this. The brand currently still seems to be available in New Zealand, but Australia is no longer mentioned on its website. It remains unclear why the products have been withdrawn from Australia; one commenter on Sunfed’s Facebook page said they had contacted Woolworths and were told the range had been discontinued due to lack of demand, but other commenters pointed out that the products had …

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Australian cultivated meat company Vow announces that it has secured regulatory approval from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) to produce and sell its first product, cultivated quail.

Vow's cultivated quail product, Image courtesy of Vow

Company News

Vow Receives Regulatory Approval to Launch “World-First” Cultivated Quail Product in Singapore

Australian cultivated meat company Vow announces that it has secured regulatory approval from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) to produce and sell the world’s first cultivated quail product.  Vow’s product originates from cells of the rare Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica, grown without animal-derived serum and antibiotics to provide a slaughter-free alternative. The Australian pioneer claims it is the only company globally that is currently offering a product free from the controversial fetal bovine serum. With this approval, Vow becomes the fourth company in the world to receive approval for a cultivated meat product (after the US companies UPSIDE Foods and GOOD Meat and the Israeli biotech Aleph Farms) and the third company to introduce a food made from cultured cells (Aleph Farms has yet to …

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soybean field, agricultural landscape

©[email protected]

Agriculture / Agribusiness

Report: Alternative Proteins Could Significantly Impact Farming in New Zealand

A report published as part of the Protein Futures NZ project (funded through the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge) has found that alternative proteins could have a significant impact on farming in New Zealand. The report outlines four alternative protein scenarios: Demand for alt proteins continues to increase but does not significantly affect animal protein supply chains. Growth is slow due to technical barriers. This scenario is described as unlikely due to the current level of innovation, interest, and investment in the sector. Demand for alt proteins continues and precision fermentation takes off. Consumer acceptance is driven by sustainability concerns. However, the development of cultivated products is stalled due to technical barriers. Plant-based products take off, and some of the barriers facing cultivated …

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Future Food Aotearoa at Future Food Tech

© Future Food Aotearoa

Fairs & Events

Future Food Aotearoa Spotlights New Zealand’s Plant-Based Innovations at Future Food-Tech San Francisco

Future Food Aotearoa, a founders movement working to accelerate the growth and impact of foodtech in New Zealand, was founded in 2020 by Alex Worker, the country manager for Impossible Foods Aotearoa New Zealand and co-founder of NewFish and LILO Desserts. Future Food Aotearoa is set to highlight New Zealand’s role in plant-based food innovation at the prestigious San Francisco Future Food-Tech Conference. With a focus on sustainability, quality, and cutting-edge technology, Future Food Aotearoa aims to position New Zealand as a global leader in shaping the future of food. A select delegation of startups will showcase breakthroughs in food science and technology, presenting their innovative products, including sustainable plant-based and microalgae protein alternatives and advancements in precision fermentation and cellular meat technologies. Representing the …

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Cauldron raises $9.5M AUD Series A to scale its continuous hyper-fermentation technology

Michele Stansfield, co-founder and CEO of Cauldron © Cauldron Ferm

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Investors Back Cauldron’s Plans for Global Network of Precision Fermentation Facilities to Tune of $6.25M

Precision fermentation company Cauldron Ferm announces it has secured AUD 9.5 million ($6.25M) in a series A round led by Horizons Ventures. SOSV, In-Q-Tel, and previous investor Main Sequence also participated in the round, bringing Cauldron’s total raised funds to $20 million.  Precision fermentation is crucial for increasing food production without expanding agricultural land while it addresses sustainability and security issues. The United Nations predicts a 70% increase in food production by 2025 to support the rising population. Cauldron says that it aims to deploy its cost-effective, continuous fermentation technology in a network of worldwide rural facilities to develop biobased products and contribute to meeting the growing global food, cosmetics, and materials demand.  Chis Liu of Horizons Ventures, comments: “Precision fermentation is an amazing technology, because it enables bio based production of …

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© ANDFOODS

Investments & Acquisitions

New Zealand’s ANDFOODS Raises $2.7M for Legume-Based Dairy Alternatives

New Zealand startup ANDFOODS, a spinoff from Massey University and the Riddet Institute, has raised $2.7 million in seed funding for its technology to produce legume-based dairy alternatives. The startup has developed plant-based creams and milk powders, produced by using fermentation to remove flavour off-notes while retaining excellent nutritional benefits and functional properties. The creams are claimed to have “eclipsed all other plant-based creams” in testing, with an overrun (ability to take on air and maintain shape) comparable to the UHT dairy creams used by commercial kitchens and food manufacturers. The products are also allergen-free. The funding round was led by Icehouse Ventures, and the capital will be used to commercialise the dairy alternatives and accelerate R&D. ANDFOODS launched less than a year ago, but …

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New Zealand's premium infant nutrition company, Heaven, has launched what it claims is the world's first 100% oat-based toddler drink, Heaven Oat.

© Haven

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

New Zealand’s Haven Launches “World’s First” 100% Oat-Based Toddler Drink

New Zealand’s premium infant nutrition company Haven has launched what it claims is the world’s first 100% oat-based toddler drink, Heaven Oat, for dairy-intolerant children and plant-based parenting. Haven Oat is said to provide the same levels of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals as the company’s other formulas made with A2 cow and goat milk proteins. Scientifically designed for toddlers aged 12+ months, Haven Oat includes a specific type of oat protein, dairy-free probiotics, and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids) obtained from algae to ensure the product is allergen and lactose-free.  In addition, it contains Lutein (an organic pigment) for eye health, 16 essential vitamins, and minerals, and has been formulated for “sensitive tummies.” It does not contain palm, soy, or fish oil. Made in …

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Cellular Agriculture Australia (CAA) announces the release of a pioneering Regulation Resource Hub to help cell ag companies streamline their food safety application process for novel foods.

© Cellular Agriculture Australia (CAA)

Fermentation

This Week in Australia’s Cell Ag Sector: Cauldron Ferm and QUT Lead Efforts to Scale Precision Fermentation Production

We are covering this week’s developments in Australia’s cellular agriculture ecosystem, with Cauldron Ferm and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) leading efforts to establish a global infrastructure for scaling up precision fermentation production for the Asia-Pacific region. Cauldron Ferm Receives License to Produce Animal-Free Proteins at 10,000 L Scale Precision fermentation company Cauldron Ferm announces that it has received a license from the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) to produce animal-free proteins at a 10,000 L scale. The DIR200 license allows Cauldron to utilize its proprietary hyper-fermentation technology and Pichia Pastoris yeast to produce dairy, egg, and spider-silk proteins. The OGTR, part of the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care, conducted the pertinent risk and management assessments, determining that Cauldron’s hyper-fermentation process is …

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Vegan meal kits cooked and served

© Just Add Vegan

Politics & Law

Australia to Include Sustainability Messaging in Dietary Guidelines to Align with Global Efforts

Australia is set to promote plant-based foods and diets as it looks to incorporate sustainability messaging into an updated version of its official Dietary Guidelines. Hailed as a milestone step by Food Frontier, a leading advocate for sustainable food solutions, sustainability messaging would raise awareness among Australian consumers about the environmental implications of dietary choices. The move, recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), is poised to align the country with global efforts. As explained by the alt protein think tank, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Qatar, Norway, Brazil, and Germany have already recognized the need for more sustainable food systems in light of the increasing global population — from 8 to 9.7 billion by 2050 — and climate crisis concerns.  For the planet Dr. Simon Eassom, CEO …

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new zealand's biotech company opo bio's team in a photo shoot outdoors

© Opo Bio

Cultivated Meat

Opo Bio Introduces Porcine Cell Range Sourced From New Zealand “High-Health Status” Livestock

Opo Bio, New Zealand’s first company to develop non-GM cell lines for the cultivated meat industry, has launched Opo-Oink, a porcine cell range for cultivated pork production.  The initial selection of Opo-Oink includes primary cells from pigs, such as satellite cells, pre-adipocytes, and fibroblasts, sourced from local livestock with high-health status. “At Opo, we believe in ethical standards and traceability. That’s why all our animal donors are raised with utmost care and integrity on our partner farms throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand,” says Opo Bio. Commercially available cell lines Opo Bio was founded in July 2022 by Dr. Olivia Ogilvie (CEO), Dr. Laura Domigan (CSO), and Dr. Vaughan Feisst (CTO) to develop primary cells and cell lines, starting with bovine and porcine products. According to the …

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