Article by: Hari Yellina
The ‘biggest fake food success’ storey says he considers himself “very much” a part of Australia’s meat sector. v2food CEO Nick Hazell made the claim amid a heated dispute with the “conventional” red meat sector over plant-based protein product packaging. Late last year, Mr Hazell made a similar comment in response to a Senate probe examining meat classifications. The CSIRO, retailers, and even Jack Cowin’s Hungry Jack’s have all lent their support to V2food. Mr. Hazell, the company’s CEO and creator, admits that v2food’s growth has been “crazy.”
A fund established by Australia’s national science organisation, the CSIRO, invested over $20 million in his plant-based protein startup. V2food claims to be Australia’s leading plant-based meat company today. The organisation that refers to meat as a “second version” asserts in its mission statement that animal agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, land degradation, and biodiversity loss around the world. Mr Hazell, on the other hand, believes that the Australian livestock business has a bright future ahead of it, but that it must transition to a more sustainable foundation. He spoke about the future of food at the ABARES Outlook conference this week.
According to the v2food website, “animal husbandry is a leading driver of greenhouse gas emissions, land degradation, and biodiversity loss worldwide.” Growing plants to generate meat allows us to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and reintroduce it to the land, directly addressing climate change. “We love meat, and we’re on a mission to make it tasty, nutritious, and long-lasting for future generations.” The main takeaway from the Outlook session was the importance of supporting this endeavour to add value to Australia’s commodities. Mr. Hazell believes that value addition is the way forward for the agri-food industry. “The entire plant-based movement presents Australia with a huge opportunity,” he added. “We’re attempting to start a movement in Australia.” This movement came to a halt last month at the Federal parliament. According to the speakers during the Outlook event, food value addition has the potential to grow into a $200 billion industry in Australia by 2030, with 300,000 new jobs.