National science agency CSIRO has drawn up a technology roadmap for protein production growth in Australia, believes the opportunity is worth $13 billion.
Australian agricultural exports were worth about $50 billion in FY2021, and with that figure projected to increase by 20% in FY22 to more than $60 billion, options beyond beef are seen as the new frontier for the agricultural sector.
The report ‘Protein: a roadmap for unlocking technology-led growth opportunities for Australia‘ also suggests the push could create up to 10,000 new jobs.
CSIRO’s venture capital arm, Main Sequence, has already invested heavily in the alt-protein market through plant-based fake meat startup V2Food, a joint venture between Hungry Jacks billionaire Jack Cowin and the CSIRO, and is backing climate change agritech Loam Bio’s $40 million Series. A.
Future feeda startup that emerged from the CSIRO to commercialize a seaweed-based animal feed additive to reduce methane emissions is also part of tackling the challenges faced in producing additional protein.
The agency’s thinking is that with two billion more people expected on the planet by 2050, the world will need to produce more protein, more sustainably and from more sources.
The alternatives range from plant-based products to converting smaller cuts of red meat into value-added protein powders and nutraceuticals, developing higher-protein, better-tasting pulses, a new sustainable industry in Australian white meat fish, plus farmed meat and edible insects.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr. Larry Marshall said that solutions from science can help create new markets.
“This will help transform Australia’s reputation from the world’s commodities food scale to a global deli of unique, higher-value exports,” he said.
“CSIROs” Future Protein Mission recognizes the magnitude of this challenge and brings together a broad network of partners with the latest innovative technology to seize this opportunity for a resilient and sustainable food system.
“We can drive growth in our traditional protein industry by leveraging technologies such as digital traceability and integrity systems that amplify the premium status of Australian red meat, and grow new complementary protein markets through techniques such as precision fermentation to produce a range of new Australian products. to generate.”
The CSIRO roadmap shows how protein demand can only be met by bringing together animal, plant and non-traditional protein production systems.
Food and Agribusiness Growth Center FIAL’s MD Dr. Mirjana Prica, said the global demand for protein is an important export opportunity.
“Australia has a real opportunity to have a thriving local food production sector while also becoming a leading exporter of traditional, plant-based and new value-added protein products,” she said.
“Building domestic capacity and infrastructure to not only benefit, but also build scale, as the abundance of protein opportunities is critical if we are to move from importing ingredients to producing our own ingredients.”
To download Protein: a step-by-step plan here.