The development of sustainable, plant-based foods and meat alternatives is getting new Government backing, with investment from a dedicated regional economic development fund.
“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,” says Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash.
“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 focussed on health and wellness and want assurance that ingredients are ethically and sustainably produced," says Nash.
“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.
“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 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.
“Regional economic development is a priority. This is the third investment since the RSPF was established last year following a manifesto commitment at the election.
“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.
“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,” says Nash.
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.