Agri-food business Harvest Road has taken a strategic minority stake in alt-meat protein company ProForm Foods, owner of the Meet brand.
CEO Matt Dunn says Harvest Road’s investment will help ProForm Foods accelerate its growth and expand its production facilities in Northern Sydney as it targets a boost in sales both within Australia and abroad.
ProForm Foods has already invested more than $20 million in developing the taste and texture of plant-based meat to create products that replicate the experience of eating animal meat, with added health and environmental benefits, and a clean, short ingredient list.
Harvest Road CEO Paul Slaughter said the investment fits with the company’s aim of supporting high-quality and environmentally sustainable food companies that prioritise Australian providence.
“Sustainable food production that meets the growing global demand for protein is a challenge we must all rise to, and we recognise the opportunity to invest in Australian innovators who are ahead of the game in the development of high-quality, plant-based protein sources,” said Slaughter.
“We are pleased to support local manufacturing and production and believe ProForm Foods is ideally placed to target further international growth using its innovative and world-leading production techniques.”
Tattarang-based Harvest Road’s existing investments include the Harvey Beef and Leeuwin Coast brands.
Proform Foods was launched in 2008 by the founder of Vogel Cereals, Stephen Dunn. The wholly-Australian-owned company’s patented cooking technology has allowed it to create quality plant-based alt-meat proteins which it uses in its own products and supplies to other plant-based food makers.
Matthew Dunn says partnering with a leading Australian agri-food investor who understands his company’s history in plant-based food technology, as well as its desire to achieve 100-per-cent local ingredients, was a key driver for the company.
“Food Frontier’s modelling conducted by Deloitte Access Economics reveals that by 2030 Australian plant-based meat sector could generate almost $3 billion in retail sales versus $185 million in sales now, and could employ more than 6000 Australians. We have no doubt that our strategic relationship with Harvest Road will mean that ProForm Foods will sit at the front and centre of this growth in both Australia and on the global stage,” says Dunn.