Food fuels our lives. It nourishes us, brings us closer together, and gives us what we need to thrive. No matter who you are, where you come from or what your customs and culture, food is an integral part of who we all are.
We want food that's familiar; delicious meals we know and love. Food that's prepared with care. Food that comforts us and reminds us of good times.
We want food that's new and creative. Food that ignites our imagination and excites our taste buds. Food that inspires us to live well.
And we want food that doesn't harm our bodies or the world. Food that's safe, clean and nutritious into the future, for our children and grandchildren. It's a human right, but one that's under severe threat unless we adapt quickly to meet global demands.
In countries like Australia and the USA, the average person eats around 100kg of meat annually—almost double the amount we ate in 1950. Some of the leading causes of mortality in these countries are now heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, which have been linked to high consumption of animal- based meat in thousands of peer-reviewed studies.
Infectious diseases like influenza can spread quickly in intensive animals farms. Not only can they decimate animal populations, they can infect humans, resulting in disease epidemics. Faecal bacteria from animals' intestines can also contaminate meat during the slaughter process; with four out out of five portions of raw chicken meat in Australia contaminated according to Food Standards Australia New Zealand.
A key source of antibiotic-resistance is intensive animal farming. In some countries, farmed animals, like chickens and pigs are feed 80% of all medically important antibiotics. These are often administered to promote rapid growth and prevent infection, rather than treat infection. The world's leading health authorities warn that overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture risks a return to commonplace illnesses, injuries and infections once again becoming fatal.
We need urgent action on climate change to keep our ecosystems (and people) healthy. Addressing livestock emissions is critical to achieving this. Some estimates place livestock emissions on par with those of the global transportion sectors. According to Chatham House, without a reduction in consumption of products from livestock, it is unlikely that global temperature rises can be kept below the critical tipping point of two degrees Celsius.
Waterways and oceans are also polluted by livestock production. A factory farm with 5,000 pigs can produce as much effluent as a town of 20,000 people. Improper management or accidents can contaminate underground drinking water and run off into rivers and oceans. Agricultural run off is contributing to ocean 'dead zones' - water lacking in oxygen and, as a result, marine life
The UNFAO found that fish populations are struggling to keep up with demand for their meat. THey found that, as of 2013, almost one-third of fish stocks were overfished. In the process of commercial trawling for fish, sea life such as dolphins, seals, turtles, and sharks are often inadvertently caught.
Animal agriculture requires a vast amount of land, both for grazing and to grow feed for grain-fed animals. Procuring this land through logging has resulted in widespread biodiversity loss worldwide, including in the Amazon. Iconic Australian animals like the koala have had their habitats cleared in the state of Queensland where 91% of deforestation in recent years was for cattle grazing.
Farming animals is a resource intensive way of producting meat. On average, an animal requires six kilograms of plant protein to produce a single kilogram of meat. Animal agriculture also takes a toll on the world's fresh water supply, with 1,500L of water required to produce a single conventionally produced hamburger (roughly the same amount a human would drink in three years!).
Most livestock - about 70 billion individuals worldwide - are raised in factory farms. There is escalating community concern about animal welfare practices in intensive animal farming. Producing meat in a way that meets consumers' definition of humane can often be less cost effective, requiring more space and more veterinary resources. This leads to confinement of animals and routine surgical procedures without pain relief.
To feed the world's growing population in coming years without compromising the health of people and the planet, we must diversify our protein supply and champion innovative new ways of producting food. Food Frontier is driving these new choices for people who want healthier options, while still enjoying the great taste of meat.
Around the world, a growing cohort of food innovators are creating the delicious burgers, meatballs and fillets we know and love, without the chickens, cows and fish - from plants or via new meat technologies. This means we can our favourite foods without bacterial contamination, antibiotics or slaughter, and with a fraction of the environmental footprint.
Food Frontier is enabling Australian and New Zealand industries, innovators and institutions to navigate this emerging sector within the Asia Pacific region.
Diversifying out protein supply with plant-based and new meat products is:
good for people
good for business
better for our planet
Right now, there is a huge opportunity to transform our food industry, and it starts with plants. Meat is the centrepiece of many meals. It’s tasty, familiar and easy to prepare for busy families. So what if we could enjoy the same delicious experience and ease in a way that's better for our bodies and the world? Well thanks to clever entrepreneurs and food scientists, we now can.
A growing number of visionary food start-ups are harnessing plants and food technology to create plant-based meats that taste, smell and sizzle like animal-based meat, at equal or better nutritional value. They ask a simple question: what makes meat, meat?
A growing number of visionary food start-ups are harnessing plants, food technology and the principles of neuroscience to create plant-based meat that tastes, smells and sizzles like animal-based meat, at equal or higher nutritional value. They ask a simple question: what makes meat, meat? The answer is simple: amino acids, lipids, vitamins, minerals and water. The exact same nutrients found in plants.
By taking a closer look at meat, these food experts select and combine components of plants to best match the qualities of meat. This offers the taste, texture and overall experience we've come to know and love, satisfying consumers who demand affordable, sustainable, and humane meat products.
On average, plant-based beef, like the Impossible Burger (video below), requires 95% less land, 74% less water and emits 87% fewer greenhouse gasses than conventional beef.
Exciting new developments in food science are delivering us new meat experiences that have scientists, industry and consumers excited.
New foods known as clean meat are created by harvesting animal cells instead of entire animals. The process involves taking a tiny sample of real animal cells (from a sesame seed-sized sample), and placing it in a nutrient bath, which contains the same nutrients the animal would typically consume—water, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The cells grow into meat, like they would in an animal's body, but without any bacterial pathogens or drugs, and with a fraction of the environmental impact (hence the term 'clean meat'!)
New foods known as clean meat are created by harvesting animal cells instead of entire animals. The process involves taking a tiny sample of real animal cells (from a sesame seed-sized sample), and placing it in a mineral bath, which contains the same nutrients the animal would typically consume—water, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The cells grow into meat, like they would in an animal's body, but without any bacterial pathogens or drugs, and with a fraction of the environmental impact (hence the term 'clean meat'!) Plus, genetic modification isn’t required. At scale, the process takes place in steel tanks—similar to what you would find in a beer brewery.
We could even improve the nutritional profile of these meats to keep the good nutrients our bodies need, and reduce the ones we don't want (such as saturated fats and cholesterol). This emerging field offers industry researchers an exciting opportunity to lead new innovation that benefits the community, economy and planet.
On average, clean beef requires 99% less land, 96% less water and emits 96% fewer greenhouse gasses than conventional beef.
Food Frontier is driving new choices for people who want the great taste of meat created in a way that’s better for people and planet.
To sustainably feed the world into the future and improve public health, we must diversify our protein supply with healthier, greener options, like plant-based proteins and meat grown from cells. By supporting Australia and New Zealand to invest in this emerging sector, we can become leaders in protein innovation for the Asia Pacific region, home to 60% of the world’s population and where meat consumption is set to double in coming decades.
As independent advisers and catalysts, Food Frontier supports industry, innovators, investors, and institutions to champion this movement. We:
New development and investment in protein-rich foods, like plant-based meat and new meat products. (e.g. supporting start-ups and investors)
The market supply of plant-based meat products across Australia, New Zealand and our region. (e.g. company consulting and government engagement)
For new choices and mainstream adoption of plant-based meats that are better for people and planet. (e.g. consumer outreach and research)
Director of Operations
David brings 30 years’ experience in the business, non-profit and government sectors to his role at Food Frontier. David led successful businesses in the property, training and consulting, and was in the Senior Executive Service of the Queensland Government, up to the role of acting Deputy Director-General. For the last five years, David was Managing Director at Children’s Ground, a national NGO working with First Nations communities. David is thrilled to contribute his wealth of experience and expertise in operations management and strategy development to help Food Frontier’s create a better future.
Chief Executive Officer
Thomas has spent almost a decade driving impact initiatives across 5 continents, leading to him being named Young Australian of the Year (VIC) in 2015. At age 13, he launched a global campaign to protect rainforests in Southeast Asia, which became the world’s highest viewed website on the topic. Thomas has since represented Australia in a climate change film with IMAX in the Arctic, helped direct a campaign that raised $1.6 million to alleviate poverty in Cambodia, and lead other environmental, animal protection and global development projects. After realising the major contribution of industrial animal agriculture across all these fields, Thomas founded Food Frontier to grow the ecosystem for more healthy, humane and sustainable protein innovations across the Asia Pacific.
Director of Communications
Danielle has held an extensive career in communications, marketing and campaigning, having spent over 15 years leading projects and teams to shape and execute communications strategies, campaigns and events. Danielle holds a degree in communications from the University of Western Sydney. She spent five years spearheading the communications portfolio for The Financial and Consumer Rights Council, has served on the board of JobWatch Community Legal Centre and spent several years producing and presenting radio programming and podcasting. Her work in consumer advocacy, animal welfare and the industrial law sector has shaped her dedication to social justice and commitment to creating a more healthy, humane and sustainable world.
Partner at Alpenrose Wealth Management Intl
CEO, KBW Ventures
CEO, Food Innovation Centre
Molecular Biologist & Patent Attorney
Director, The Good Food Institute
Clean Meat Scientist
Food Systems Specialist
Government Relations & Start-Up Strategist