Australian alt-protein company gets government funding for cow-free dairy proteins

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Love BUDS Burgers – will be on the shelves of IGA supermarkets and in burger venues around Australia this month. Pic: All G/CEFC
Love BUDS Burgers – will be on the shelves of IGA supermarkets and in burger venues around Australia this month. Pic: All G/CEFC

Related tags Alt dairy Dairy alternatives Milk plant-based Fermentation

A new Australian company aiming to build further demand for plant-based and alternative proteins has closed a A$16m (US$11.8m) seed capital raise, backed by A$5m (US$3.7m) from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

The CEFC is an Australian Government-owned green bank established to finance the clean energy sector. The CEFC commitment, through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund on behalf of the Australian Government, is made alongside several prominent angel investors.

Sydney based All G Foods’ first product – Love BUDS Burgers – will be on the shelves of IGA supermarkets and in burger venues around Australia this month. A range of additional alternative protein products is already under development, including plant-based mince, sausages, as well as chicken and bacon alternatives.

All G Foods is also using precision fermentation technology to develop dairy proteins to be included in milk and other “cow-free” dairy products as part of its longer-term ambition to provide more sustainable protein options for both Australian and global consumers. 

The agricultural sector accounts for 14% of Australia’s national emissions, with livestock responsible for about 77% of that amount. 

Growing awareness about the health and environmental impacts of meat consumption has led one in three Australians to introduce meat alternatives into their diet. At the same time, growing appetite for animal proteins from an increasingly affluent global population is putting further resource demands on agriculture, according to the CEFC.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said, “Alternative proteins are an important way to reduce food-related emissions because they have a relatively small carbon footprint. With plant-based proteins and proteins from technology like precision fermentation, we can help feed a growing local and global population while putting less pressure on our environment. 

“All G Foods is an exciting example of the new and innovative opportunities that will develop as our economy transitions to lower emissions. It’s great to see this Australian company at the forefront of the growing sustainable food production solutions of the future.”

All G Foods founder and CEO Jan Pacas said, “Our ambition is to make products that are indistinguishable from animal proteins in both taste and nutrition, by giving consumers food they will love, while making a positive difference for our planet. 

 “We have put together a science and technology team that is the best Australia and the world has to offer to ensure consumers get what they really want: a delicious, low-carbon and inclusive alternative to animal protein. We know our science combined with delicious recipes will change the trajectory of the alternative protein movement in Australia and around the world.”

Clean Energy Innovation Fund director Kristin Vaughan said, “We’re very excited to support a great home-grown Australian business like All G Foods. Carbon-conscious consumers are increasingly considering alternatives to animal-based protein as a practical way to cut their own carbon footprint. 

“We are particularly impressed with the team that All G Foods has built and are confident that they have the kind of high-quality product that Australian consumers demand. Products like these have the potential to supercharge sector growth and lead the way for Australia to become competitive in the global alternative protein market.” 

The All G Foods science and technology team is working with University of Sydney researchers led by Centre of Advanced Food Engineering Professor Roman Buckow. All G Foods’ chief technology officer for dairy, Dr Jared Raynes, is leading the development of alternative dairy proteins through precision fermentation to be included in a non-dairy milk that replicates the structure, taste and nutritional elements of cow’s milk. 

The Australian market for alternative protein sources is expected to reach A$4.1bn (US$3bn) by 2030, with a potential export market reach of $2.5bn (US$1.84bn). 

The Clean Energy Innovation Fund is the largest dedicated cleantech investor in Australia and was created to invest A$200m (US$147.6m) in early-stage innovative businesses whose activities can lower Australia’s emissions.