Alternative proteins an opportunity, not a threat

Alternative proteins have been making the headlines recently, with some suggesting they pose a threat to New Zealand’s agricultural sector.

ASB’s GM for Rural Business Richard Hegan spoke to The Country’s Jamie Mackay, saying he sees potential rather than danger when it comes to plant-based proteins.

“I firmly believe there’s an opportunity for both existing pastoral production and also alternative proteins to flourish in New Zealand.”

Hegan says the challenge will be to work out how these two products can co-exist to ensure the future success of New Zealand.

The “clean food industry” has some high profile supporters including Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson, who believes plant-based meat will become the norm in the near future. Mackay asks Hegan whether the agricultural sector should be concerned about such endorsement.

Hegan says ultimately consumers will drive product choices and he believes plant-based proteins will become a viable alternative in New Zealand’s future, alongside more traditional farming practices.

“We should be thinking about how we co-exist in both of those worlds … why aren’t we thinking more about how we develop expertise and become exemplars in alternate proteins as well.”

Also in this interview: Hegan looks at rural debt, how alternate protein could affect the future of the banking sector and comments on the current success of agriculture in New Zealand.


To listen to the interview, click here

Source: NZ Herald

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