Harvest Road has invested a rumoured $5 million in return for a minority stake in ProForm Foods. The Agri-food enterprise has been increasing its portfolio of sustainable protein interests throughout 2021. Global demand for plant-based products inspired the investment into ProForm Foods.
An Australian plant-based protein success story, ProForm Foods has been expanding over the past 12 months. Last year the company announced completion of new facilities that have the capacity to manufacture 5,000 tonnes of plant-based meat per annum. The new strategic investment from Harvest Road will allow expansion of the North Sydney plant. Alongside facilities growth, the company is gearing up for a global market launch. Strengthening of the local supply chain will be a major priority as well.
Domestic pride, global growth
Finding a presence in the international plant-based meat market is a priority for ProForm but not at the behest of its heritage. Keen to bring all ingredient sourcing within the country in the next few years, it remains a focussed Australian operation.
This ethos is mirrored by Harvest Road, which seeks to bolster domestic providence. “Sustainable food production that meets the growing global demand for protein is a challenge we must all rise to, and we recognise the opportunity to invest in Australian innovators who are ahead of the game in the development of high-quality, plant-based protein sources,” said Paul Slaughter, CEO of Harvest Road in a statement. “We are pleased to support local manufacturing and production and believe ProForm Foods is ideally placed to target further international growth using its innovative and world-leading production techniques.”
Consumers know ProForm for its MEET plant-based meat brand, distributed through major supermarkets across Australia. It currently sources a minimum of 70 percent of its ingredients locally, but is planning to curate a 100 percent domestic supply chain by 2025. The partnership with Harvest offers scope to make that plan a reality.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Harvest Road, an organisation driven by a vision to create sustainable businesses that deliver more positive environmental outcomes, enhance food security for Australia and support local manufacturing,” CEO of ProForm, Matthew Dunn said in a statement. “ProForm is excited by this alignment of values and the opportunity to take our quality, plant-based products to new Australian and international consumers.”
The strategic investment from Harvest comes shortly after ProForm unveiled chilled plant-based meats in Coles Supermarkets. New inclusion in HelloFresh meal kits has also been announced. Expansion throughout the Asia-Pacific region is likely to be the beginning of international brand awareness building.
Southern hemisphere plant-based progress
ProForm isn’t the only Australian plant-based innovator celebrating new investment with homegrown ingredients. This month it was revealed that WOA has bagged $20 million to develop its domestic oat milk business. Funding will be used to build a new production plant while supporting locally ingredient sourcing. The move will see domestic oats replacing imported Italian alternatives.
Earlier this year. Harvest B celebrated a $3.5 million seed funding round. It came alongside a $1 million grant from the Australian government, to support local manufacturing. The award was regarded as a sign of support for the growing alternative protein sector in the country. A New South Wales manufacturing facility is at the planning stage currently, with R&D still taking place in Sydney.
All images courtesy of ProForm.