Local plant-based meat startup v2food this week announced the addition of Professor Martin Cole as its new Chief Scientific Advisor. 

Cole has held senior positions at CSIRO, the University of Adelaide, Food Standards ANZ and the United Nations, and will oversee v2food’s research and development of its range of plant-based meat products.

Prior to joining v2food, Cole served as Deputy Director of CSIRO Agriculture & Food and spent more than a decade leading projects in areas like food safety, novel processing and nutritional food security. Cole also leads research on grain and legume breeding at the University of Adelaide, where he will continue to work.

V2food launched in Sydney in October last year, promising to disrupt the Australian meat market by offering a more sustainable protein-based product. The startup began as a collaboration between the CSIRO, industry’s Competitive Foods Australia, and Main Sequence Ventures, the capital arm of the CSIRO’s Innovation Fund.

In the last quarter v2food says it has added 22 new hires, including senior roles in sales and marketing, as well as a manager for its new $20 million processing facility in Wodonga.

“As the former leader of CSIRO’s research program into alternative proteins, Martin has been an integral part of the v2food journey since day one,” said Nick Hazell, v2food CEO and founder.

“He will bring world-leading technical expertise to bolster our strong R&D efforts, helping us to make the best product we can using the best local ingredients. With our v2mince and v2burgers gaining momentum, Martin’s input will be critical in helping us achieve our ambition of making great-tasting plant-based meat a part of people’s everyday diet.”

Professor Cole said the demand for plant-based protein is “astronomical” and Australia has a chance to become a global leader.

“As a nation, we are globally competitive on grain and meat exports. However, we can be delivering far greater value out of the raw commodities we produce. That’s where v2food comes in. Grounded in CSIRO science and with the expertise of Nick Hazell at the helm, v2 wants to take Australian plant-based meat to the world and this means adding even more value to Australian agriculture. I am excited to join this first-class team and to be able to bring the transdisciplinary expertise from across the University of Adelaide, CSIRO and our partners together.”

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