BLNZ project on impact of alternative proteins

Beef and Lamb New Zealand has begun a project aimed at better understanding what impact alternative proteins may have on the red meat sector.

It is part of the organisation's new innovation programme to front-foot potential challenges and fill knowledge gaps.

Led by market innovation manager Lee-Ann Marsh, the alternative proteins project aimed to answer key stakeholder questions, the company said.

Its main purpose was to better understand the shifts in food production technology occurring outside New Zealand, separate ``the hype from reality'' and provide an objective view on product development, business models and consumer acceptance.

It was also seeking to identify threats and opportunities for New Zealand's red meat sector, as well as shifts and activities the sector might wish to explore to best position itself for the future.

Proposals were reviewed from four potential partners with a strong grip on the potential challenges facing the sector.

San Francisco-based innovation agency Antedote had been appointed, based on its experience with similar disruption challenges for international clients and strong US market networks and knowledge.

KPMG's 2017 Agribusiness Agenda, released in June, ranked closely following global developments in alternative proteins 19th in agribusiness leaders' priorities, up from 34th last year.

A report would be made to the BLNZ board next month and the findings shared with the sector soon after, followed by scenario planning and industry engagement to discuss initiatives the sector might want to pursue.

The market development team was refining the innovation programme strategy and identifying other transformational projects, looking at disruptive forces across the value chain.

The strategy would be discussed over the next two months, and ready to ``hit the ground running'' in the new year.


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