Western Australian billionaire and environmental campaigner Andrew Forrest has backed Sydney plant-based proteins company ProForm Foods as it looks to to target international markets.
The strategic minority stake – its value was not disclosed but it’s believed to be around $5 million – came through Forrest’s family company Tattarang’s agri-food venture Harvest Road.
ProForm Foods is run by former Olympic swimmer CEO Matt Dunn. His father and Vogel Cereals founder Stephen Dunn, established the business in 2008. It’s best known for the Meet brand and 12 months ago opened an $11m manufacturing facility for plant-based meats in northern Sydney, having ploughed more than $20 million into developing its plant-based meat products.
The business is looking to expand its production facilities as it targets further growth into domestic and international markets.
Matthew Dunn, ProForm’s CEO at Foods said Harvest Road understood his company’s desire to use 100% locally-sourced ingredients for its products. Its current benchmark is around 70%.
“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,” he said.
“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 announcement follows the launch of a a new range of chilled plant-based meat products into Coles supermarkets, as well as in HelloFresh meal kits.
Harvest Road CEO Paul Slaughter said they were keen to back environmentally sustainable food companies that prioritise Australian 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,” he said.
“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.”