Alt-meat bangers get more bucks thanks to the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund

by | May 25, 2022 | News

Under the plan*t brand, Sustainable Foods produces plant-based chicken, burgers, mince and sausages, available in supermarkets nationwide. Now their sausages are getting some extra sizzle, thanks to new government backing, with investment from a dedicated regional economic development fund.

 

Readily available, affordable and eco food is part of the the low-emissions, highly-skilled economy we need to get to as a country, and as part of that, the government is boosting development of sustainable, plant-based foods and meat alternatives.

“The investment in Sustainable Foods Ltd  is part of a wider government strategy to develop a low-emissions, highly-skilled economy that responds to global demands,” said Stuart Nash Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Small Business, Forestry, and Tourism.

“Sustainable Foods Ltd is leading the charge to promote sustainability in the food and beverage market with its field-to-plate approach through its brand plan*t. The Kāpiti business will receive a loan of up to $1.25 million from the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund (RSPF).

“Global food trends since the outbreak of COVID-19 show consumers are focused on health and wellness and want assurance that ingredients are ethically and sustainably produced.

“Our environmental reputation is crucial to protect our primary exports and our economic security. Innovation in plant-based foods reflects the continuing importance of agriculture, horticulture, and food manufacturing to the economy.

Sustainable Foods Ltd aim to be a leading innovator and provider of plant-based protein in New Zealand has been previously helped along the way by some key partnerships, including with My Food Bag and signing up international rugby halfback and committed vegan TJ Perenara, as a company brand ambassador and investor.

The company has also benefited from some lucky timing. Relocating to the Kāpiti Coast, Paraparaumu in mid 2021, Sustainable Foods moved into a facility previously vacated by Fonterra and got production of its plant-based protein products up and running just in time to be considered an essential service and be able to continue during the subsequent nationwide lockdown.

“The company’s growth in the past three years has seen it evolve from producing just a few products catering to vegan and vegetarian diets, to supplying leading restaurant brands and major supermarkets”, says Minister Nash.

“The plant-based protein market is growing in value especially in the Northern Hemisphere. The loan allows the business to scale up production capacity to meet the fast-growing demand of the emerging domestic market and eventually export its products.”

The RSPF loan is the third investment since the RSPF was established last year following election pledges. is also a boost for the Kapiti Coast.

“The Kāpiti region already has a reputation for innovative and artisan food and beverage producers, such as cheese, ice cream, craft beer and gin, chocolate and coffee. The Kāpiti Coast District Council is also supporting the development of a food innovation hub,” says Nash.  “The investment supports innovation and sustainability in our primary production and food and beverage sector. It also develops resilience in regional New Zealand, providing economic security for businesses and workers,”

Budget 2022 ensured the RSPF was fully funded, with $200 million for projects identified by the regions themselves as having strategic value for their local economy and community. It is administered by the Kānoa Unit in MBIE.

CEO Justin Lemmens says, “As founders of Sustainable Foods Kyran Rei and I believe we have an opportunity to make a real difference for current and future generations. We can nourish ourselves while nurturing our planet.”

 

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