Meat your future, Australia.
World-first modelling released on Wednesday shows the nation’s plant-based meat industry is projected to tip in up to $3 billion a year into the economy by 2030.
It would appear an outrageous proposition given Australia’s alternative meat market only contributes 265 jobs and $30 million at present.
But the new research suggests otherwise.
Under the most favourable scenario, one of three outlined by global firm Deloitte, thousands of jobs would be created and customer expenditure would rise to $4.6 billion per annum.
But Food Frontier, an alternative plant protein group which commissioned the report, is warning the nation could miss out on the prospective boom.
“It’s crystal-clear that Australia has a massive opportunity on its doorstep, which this report aims to quantify,” chief executive Thomas King said in a statement.
“Australia needs to act quickly to stake its claim in the global plant-based meat sector or risk being left behind by its competitors.”
Mr King says government and business must step up to ensure the industry’s full potential is realised.
“A range of opportunities exist for investment, and grant and tax incentives, to help grow this new sector,” he said.
With the traditional meat producers facing the threat of recurring droughts, Food Frontier suggests it would be wise for farmers to consider growing crops to gain an early foothold in the plant-based meat supply chain.
Manufacturing and jobs-wise, Victoria (31 per cent), New South Wales (29) and Queensland (22) are projected to be the major beneficiaries.
Food Frontier analysis has found more than 100 plant-based meat products have infiltrated Australian supermarkets, while popular burger chains Huxtaburger and Grill’d have also offered plant-meat patties.
But two-thirds of Australians still haven’t tried plant-based meat products.
Mr King believes that figure will drop as environment- and health-conscious consumers go off their meat.
“More and more Aussies are discovering that plant-based meats mean enjoying their favourite meals, from sausages to meatballs, while having a lighter impact on their health and the planet,” he said.