As if we needed any more proof that the future of food is plant-based – food technology company Harvest B has officially opened Australia’s very first plant-protein factory!
The Sydney-based facility is a state-of-the-art space equipped with the latest in manufacturing technology, and supported by a $1 million co-investment from the Australian Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre.
Harvest B says they’re on a mission to create a world where food is “healthier, more sustainable, and more accessible”. The idea for the company first sprouted when its founders discovered a gaping hole in Australia’s plant-based protein market – namely, there wasn’t a single Australian company supplying locally-made plant proteins to our own food manufacturers.
Up until now, Australian plant-based meat producers have had to source their ingredients from overseas – even when the original crops used in the product have been grown on Australian soil.
Harvest B’s co-founder and CEO, Kristi Riordan, said:
It made absolutely no sense that high quality, Australian grown produce [was] shipped offshore to be processed only for us to buy it back at higher costs as finished consumer products. 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.
The Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic, agrees that Harvest B’s new facility will contribute significantly to the Australian economy by establishing a new local supply chain, predicting that it will “boost” our local plant-based food industry, which has strong potential for future growth.
The new facility will be capable of producing up to 1000 metric tonnes of plant-based protein annually, made from Australian-grown plant crops like soybeans, peas, wheat, and oats.
As the first large-scale facility of its kind, Harvest B will be able to deliver more sustainable plant-based meat ingredients to food service companies, consumer-facing brands, and manufacturers across the country – and indeed to other parts of the world, like Southeast Asia, where the appetite for plant-based meat alternatives is also steadily growing.
And not only will these ingredients be locally grown and produced, they will also boast a longer shelf life, have a lower carbon footprint, contain fewer artificial ingredients, and be less expensive than comparable animal-based proteins made in Australia. So that’s a win-win … or more, a win-win-win? 😉
Harvest B is also developing their own proprietary product ranges, and has received glowing feedback so far:
We believe [our product range] 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.
This news is yet another win for Australia’s local plant-based manufacturing industry.
Just last year, the federal and South Australian government announced their support for a new plant-based hub that would generate up to $4 billion in exports by 2032, and quadruple South Australia’s production of plant-based protein to a whopping 25,000 tonnes a year.
With so many people opting for plant-based alternatives these days, it’s little wonder that the Australian industry is responding accordingly in an effort to keep up with demand. It’s easier than ever to find healthy, sustainable (and delicious) options in stores these days, and we reckon these efforts to scale up plant-based meat production even further are just a sign of things to come… 👀
Watch this shelf-space for even more great-tasting, Aussie-made vegan mince, sausages, and patties to choose from thanks to innovators like Harvest B – and here’s to transforming our local food industry for the better, one ‘meaty’ meat-free meal at a time!