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Harvest B opens Australia’s first plant-based meat ingredient facility

Australians will soon be able to enjoy plant-based meat products made from locally sourced and processed grains via Australia’s first plant-based meat ingredient manufacturer, Sydney-based, Harvest B.

In an Australian first, Harvest B’s plant-based meat ingredients will offer a wholesale solution to consumer-facing food brands, manufacturers, and food service companies seeking a great tasting, clean-label certified, plant-based meat product that costs less than comparable animal protein.

The locally developed produce will assist efforts to decarbonise supply chains by offering a product that does not require a cold-chain solution and boasts a shelf life far superior to that of imported plant-based and locally sourced animal-based proteins.

This local manufacturing capability will enable substantive value to be added to high-quality local grains and other ingredients, while generating high-skilled local jobs. Furthermore, Harvest B has the potential to displace currently imported plant-based protein products while growing exports.

Harvest B co-founders, Kristi Riordan and Alfred Lo, set about to address the growing global need to supplement existing energy, emissions, and land-intensive animal protein-based food systems with a novel plant-based approach while adding value to high-quality, locally grown grains.

“When investigating the plant-based protein market, it became apparent that there was not a single large-scale ingredient brand supplying high-quality, locally made plant proteins to Australian food manufacturers,” said Harvest B co-founder and CCO, Alfred Lo.

“Now food manufacturers have the option to source locally developed products leveraging local inputs rather than resorting to international suppliers.”

“It made absolutely no sense that high quality, Australian grown produce is shipped offshore to be processed only for us to buy it back at higher costs as finished consumer products,” said Harvest B co-founder and CEO, Kristi Riordan.

“It became quickly evident to Harvest B that there was a significant opportunity for this value add to be done in Australia, creating local jobs and greater export opportunities.”

“To ensure we can grow our business, Harvest B invested heavily in research and development to create a novel product range that we believe exceeds the taste, texture, and price expectations of our consumers. In fact, industry and consumer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive to the point that we now have customers, both locally and abroad, approaching us.” Said Riordan.

At the opening of the Harvest B facility at Penrith, Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic said the facility is great news for Australian food brands and manufacturers.

“The Albanese Government is committed to revitalising Australia’s advanced manufacturing by backing companies like Harvest B. Supporting domestic capability in emerging technologies, including in areas like food production, will be a focus for the National Reconstruction Fund,” said Minister Husic.

“Australia has a strong reputation as producer of safe, premium, high-quality foods, and Harvest B will support domestic businesses to capitalise on the growing demand for plant-based protein foods.” Said Minister Husic.

Leveraging locally grown grains and inputs, Harvest B will offer an initial output of 1,000 metric tonnes of product. Supplied to food brands, food manufacturers and food service providers, Harvest B’s plant-based proteins will then be converted into popular consumer-facing food products such as sausages, patties, mince, and the company’s own proprietary whole meat products.

Managing director for the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), Jens Goennemann, said Harvest B exemplifies how Australian manufacturers can value-add to the nation’s abundant natural resources.

“Australia is a nation blessed with abundant natural resources, yet we have relied too heavily on the luck associated with trading these commodities in a raw state. Like Harvest B, we should be leveraging our smarts and add value to these high-quality natural resources – right here in Australia,” said Goennemann.

With co-investment support from the Federal Government via AMGC and industry partners, including Woolworths’ venture fund (W23), Harvest B intends to initially develop 10 different product lines with substantial export into Southeast Asia which is already presenting opportunities.

For further details relating to Harvest B’s co-invested project and funding, click here.

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