NSW Farmers, the National Farmers’ Federation and Food Frontier, a plant-based protein think tank, have created a Future of Protein Forum which is designed to allow protein producers of all persuasions to collaborate.

NSW Farmers’ CEO Pete Arkle says the global demand for protein in 2030 will be so high that traditional animal agriculture alone will be unable to meet it.

“Alternative protein, such as plant-based products and cell-cultivated meat, will be complementary to our traditional agricultural industries rather than posing a direct threat to their viability.

NSW Farmers’ CEO Pete Arkle

“We need to ensure that our domestic producers are able to diversify and take advantage of new market opportunities, and that policy and regulatory settings are in place to encourage production and manufacturing in Australia.”

Plant-based protein powerhouse

The creation of the forum comes as Deloitte Access Economics forecast the Australian plant-based meat alternative consumer market will grow to $3 billion by 2030.

Australia has the potential to become a plant-based protein powerhouse by ramping up production to supply plant proteins into key export markets.

This potential for growth is furthered as global demand for meat in coming decades will outstrip supply.

Lab grown meat and other plant-based proteins are set to boom in the coming decades

Food Frontier’s Director of Policy and Government Relations, Sam Lawrence, said the Future of Protein Forum is a critical step in bringing together the Australian agriculture industry and the alternative protein sector for mutual benefit.

“As the alternative protein sector continues to build considerable momentum locally and globally, the Forum enables the collaboration necessary for Australia to fulfil its potential in new protein industries, while maximising opportunities for Australian farmers.

Food Frontier’s Director of Policy and Government Relations Sam Lawrence

Mr Lawrence also said the are lucrative opportunities for Australian farmers to supply a new high-value market, both domestically and internationally, as demand for Australian grown plant-based protein increases.

He also congratulated both NSW Farmers and the National Farmers Federation on the initiative.

“We’re pleased to be partnering on this forward-thinking initiative which recognises the massive opportunity presented by alternative proteins to the Australian economy, and in particular to Australian farmers,” Mr Lawrence said.

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Governments should pay heed of the Future of Protein Forum

Mr Lawrence also called on governments to look at projects to grow the alternative protein sector.

“The economic case is clear and compelling, and we hope will encourage participation in the Forum nationwide,” Mr Lawrence said.

“Plant-based meat alternatives and cell-cultivated meat combine food innovation and advanced manufacturing, and states that actively grow this sector can ultimately deliver both jobs and growth in regional areas, and generate new export opportunities.” 

Food Frontier’s Director of Policy and Government Relations Sam Lawrence


National Farmers’ Federation CEO Tony Mahar said it is important the agriculture sector is on the front foot to realise opportunities presented by the growth of the alternative proteins market.

“Part of this is influencing the narrative – the boom in demand for alternative proteins does not mean it comes at the expense of animal proteins, and is not about virtue signalling,” Mr Mahar said.

Demand for the high-quality and nutritious animal proteins produced by Australia’s farmers remains strong and is forecast to continue to grow.

“It’s important that the sector is positioned to realise the new opportunities presented by alternative proteins, and the Future of Protein Forum is an important step in that process.”

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