How to promote beef and lamb as vegans split over fake meat


Terry Sim, Sheep Central (Australia)

September 14, 2022


MARKETING the nutritional value of red meat products was the answer to competing against alternative proteins, producers were told at the recent Southern Australia Livestock Research Council 2022 conference.


Faced with challenges like plant and cell-based proteins, greenhouse gas and sustainability issues, Monash University adjunct professor Paul Wood said livestock industries had to start talking about their products’ nutritional value.


“What’s the nutritional value of the product we produce, versus the environmental footprint?


“And that environmental footprint won’t just be carbon, won’t just be water, biodiversity – this (nutritional profile) is the answer I think for the livestock industries,” Prof. Paul Wood said at the Livestock 2022 conference in Melbourne.


“Because we will always be better off if you look at nutritional value, because we outstrip on so many nutritional protocols and if we look at in the environment, not just carbon.


“So I think this is the way that we should market our products in the future and it’s quite doable.”


He suggested creation of a nutritional value algorithm, citing the Riddet Institute’s biomass algorithm.


“So there are ways to do this that, I honestly think, in the long run, this is how we should present.”


Prof. Wood said there were 1300 complementary protein start-ups, and he believed red meat companies investing in alternative protein production were making a “side bet.”


“You will hear people say JBS has just put $100 million into a cell-based meat.


“It’s a side bet, in case it happens to work, they want to be in control.”


He discussed the various forms of alternative protein products on the market, including the Australian pea-based V2 burger, the rapidly expanding but scale-dependent insect-protein market for dog treats, livestock and poultry feed, and fungi protein as ‘mushroom steaks.’


He said the issue with plant-based protein is matching taste and texture and some products “were getting very close to matching meat.”


“But they are probably never going to ever beat … they’re just trying to get close to the taste and texture of the (real meat) products that you (livestock farmers) produce.”


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