Plant proteins and food exports: More depth to industry than meets the eye

TV news and social media highlight Impossible Burgers going global, and Vivera plant-based steaks are flying off Tesco’s shelves in Britain. True to form they have focused the public’s attention on threats to our agriculture exports.

The issue is also being highlighted, in much more technical depth, in a national industry conference – ProteinTECH – running on 24 July in Auckland. The theme is ‘Technology Disruption in Food Production’.

ProteinTECH conference director, John Stulen, says the real story is much more positive than consumers realise: “Our agriculture science and research capability is well-placed to respond.”

“Listening to one of our key speakers, Dr Jocelyn Eason of Plant & Food Research, conference delegates will discover that our agricultural science and technology leaders are well-positioned to develop new exports based on our land base and farming strengths and capabilities.”

“We’ve got a great lineup of technical speakers,” says Stulen. “They’ll all be digging much deeper than the media stories to reveal opportunities our research and science experts can see for our highly regarded foods beyond today’s animal-based proteins.”

Coming to Auckland next month, Innovatek’s ProteinTECH Conference brings together leaders in primary industries from research and development fields. These experts have their finger on the pulse of changing food production trends, alongside industry analysts, financiers and key accounting/consulting firms. See to register for the event. The ProteinTECH conference runs on 24 July at the Novotel Auckland Airport Hotel.

Some insights into what’s planned for this national conference are in a joint report released this week from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Plant & Food Research (PFR) on consumers and plant protein products. The ProteinTECH conference organisers report rapidly growing interest in the conference. It explores which new plant protein products our agri-sector can deliver to evolving food markets globally.

The MPI/PFR joint report, entitled ‘The Evolution of Plant Protein – Assessing Consumer Responses’, is focused on consumer responses to protein in two of New Zealand’s key export markets. The purpose is to highlight the potential impacts to the New Zealand agricultural industry.

Our national social, environmental and economic well-being is linked to New Zealand’s ability to supply the rest of the world with protein. Export revenues from animal-based proteins account for 60% of our country’s total primary exports.

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