One step further: Australia’s Fenn Foods set to launch ‘world’s first carbon neutral’ minced meat in APAC

By Guan Yu Lim

- Last updated on GMT

vEEF's plant-based meats ©Fenn Foods
vEEF's plant-based meats ©Fenn Foods

Related tags Australia Fenn Foods carbon neutral plant based

Brisbane plant-based company Fenn Foods is set to release three new products early next year under its vEEF brand, one of which will be the ‘world’s first carbon neutral’ plant-based meat.

The three products are its vEEF chicken patty, meatballs, as well as the carbon neutral minced meat, scheduled to launch in Australia, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong over the next few months.

While plant-based firms generally claim to use less land and water resources with a lower environmental impact than animal-based products, Fenn Foods said it wanted to go one step further by offsetting its carbon emission.

The firm has partnered with an Australia-based carbon reduction institute, NoCO2​ to do so.

NoCO2​ calculates the carbon footprint of the minced meat throughout the product’s lifecycle which includes manufacturing, transportation and disposal.

Fenn Foods then pays to offset the product’s carbon footprint by investing in NoCO2 ​renewable energy projects. The idea is that the minced meat would not leave behind any carbon emission by channeling it into other environmental-friendly efforts.

Watch Fenn Foods’ CEO and co-founder Alejandro Cancino discussing the company’s mission to go carbon neutral.

Plant-based future

For a country known for its barbeques, Cancino said the plant-based meat market will continue to grow in Australia with consumers increasingly more aware of the environmental impact of animal-based products.

They now realise that consuming animal meat on a daily basis is probably not the best thing for the environment. Even if they are not going vegan or plant-based entirely, they will now consider replacing one or two meals weekly with plant-based alternatives​.”

The firm currently retails one product, its classic soy-based burger patty in smoky bbq flavour to replicate the animal version.

The three new products will also be soy-based.

Cancino told us that the biggest challenge in formulating plant-based foods was achieving the desired texture and mouthfeel, rather than taste.

Tripled in sales

Currently, the vEEF product can be found in Woolworths supermarkets and independent stores in Australia. In Singapore, it can be found at an independent grocer.

However, B2C was not Fenn Foods’ initial focus. When the firm was established in 2015, it targeted food service (B2B).

Cancino who is also a chef told us that the firm quickly realised that in order for the firm to grow, they had to enter retail, which they did in 2018.

Since entering retail in 2018, sales have tripled every year, and they are slowly building awareness around its brand.

Cancino said it was important to diversify its distribution channels, especially with the unexpected pandemic this year affecting its food service clients.

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