Australian startup v2food has purchased a 55,470sqm site in Wodonga to manufacture plant-based meat products locally.
Last week v2 secured $35 million in funding from some of the world’s leading investors, representing the largest ever Series A funding round for a plant-based meat company, even beating out the US giants Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat.
More than $20 million will be invested in refitting the Wodonga site to be a food-grade facility including the installation of new equipment using the expertise of local contractors.
The factory is expected to begin operations in Q2 2020 with plans to employ 40-50 local workers. Once up and running, the factory will enable v2food to scale-up at speed to produce the plant-based meat that customers will soon find in supermarkets and restaurants across the country, the company said.
The Wodonga factory will form part of v2food’s supply chain enabling local farmers to supply this growing industry with Australian-grown ingredients.
The company, which is backed by Hungry Jacks founder Jack Cowin, argues that the demand for plant-based meat is growing quickly and therefore won’t be a threat to local farmers.
“There is a big shortfall between the amount of meat we produce today and the amount needed to feed a global population that will hit 10 billion by 2050. Our planet is at a tipping point and we are heading for environmental disaster if we continue to produce all of our meat from animals,” said Nick Hazell, CEO, v2food.
“Australia’s farming industry is the best in the world and we see a huge opportunity to grow this new plant-based industry leveraging the best that regional Australia has to offer.”