Vegan Meat Company Fenn Foods Becomes Australia’s First Carbon-Neutral Food Producer
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Queensland-based plant-based foods production company Fënn Foods has become the first certified carbon-neutral food producer in Australia, as certified by carbon consulting company the Carbon Reduction Institute (CRI).
Fënn Foods was founded eight years ago by chef Alejandro Cancino and co-founder Paola Moro, who wanted to create affordable and delicious plant-based foods that are ethically produced and planet-conscious.
The company, which is locally owned, produces popular vegan-friendly alternative meat products made from peas, mushrooms and non-GMo soy protein under the vEEF brand. Its range includes burger patties, bacon bits, mince, meatballs and pulled pork among other formats, and has been successful in both the grocery and food service sectors, and partnerships include meal kit company HelloFresh, retailer Woolworths and pub chain Brewdog.
“We created vEEF® because we wanted a meat alternative we could feel good about eating that didn’t compromise on taste or texture,” says Cancino.
Its range of plant-based meat products has become popular among chefs, companies, and consumers who want to support local businesses and adopt sustainable practices. The company had its premium, plant-based mince beef product certified carbon neutral in 2018 and has now achieved carbon neutral certification for the entire business.
The carbon-neutral certification process is rigorous, with the CRI conducting a full audit of Fënn Foods’ ingredients, products, packaging, and practices, including employees’ commutes to and from work. The CRI calculated all potential carbon emissions, and the company purchased carbon offsets accredited under the Verified Carbon Standard to offset emissions.
Fënn Foods’ founders say they are proud of the company’s carbon-neutral certification, which helps to provide customers with proof that they are backing an environmentally conscious business that produces delicious plant-based foods without contributing to excess carbon emissions. The company says its goal is to continue producing innovative, sustainable, and delicious food under its three pillars of sustainability, deliciousness, and innovation.
“I’m so proud to announce that Fënn Foods is now certified carbon neutral. Many Australians are choosing to eat plant-based foods because of the environmental impact and for their health, but now they can do even better and buy from a completely carbon-neutral business that happens to be locally owned. Better yet, our products are delicious, versatile and easy to prepare,” said Cancino.
Last year, Fënn Foods raised $3 million in an oversubscribed funding round from Bombora Investment Management. At the time, the company said it planned to use the funds for a range of purposes, including expansion across all areas of its operations and refining its production processes.
2022 also saw the company appoint CPG industry veteran Tony Rowlinson as chief executive officer. “The plant-based foods market in Australia is in its infancy and, based on global trends, it will be a billion-dollar market in the very near future,” said Mr Rowlinson in a press statement at the time.
“There are tremendous growth opportunities in delivering ongoing innovation and I am excited at the prospect of building on Fënn Foods culinary reputation in establishing the company as a leading player in this market,” he added.
Fenn Foods’s carbon-neutral certification news comes amidst multiple studies showing that plant-based diets are an important part of fighting rising global greenhouse gas emissions amidst an ever-worsening climate crisis.
New research from the University of Bonn suggests that if the planet is to sustainably feed humans, wealthy nations must significantly reduce their meat consumption, ideally by at least 75%. The study, titled “Meat Consumption and Sustainability,” provides an overview of recent research on the environmental and economic impacts of meat consumption. Specifically, the study highlights the role of methane, which is emitted by ruminant animals such as cattle and sheep raised for food. The IPCC has called for a 30% reduction in methane emissions by 2025 in its Sixth Annual Report on climate change.