Agribusiness specialist Rabobank has released a report demonstrating how Australian grain, oilseed and pulse producers are well placed to capitalise on the rapidly growing plant-based meat boom, while outlining key industry challenges to be solved.

In the report, Getting Granular with Plant-Based Meat Substitutes: Opportunities for Grains, Oilseeds, and Pulses, Rabobank notes that with the plant-based meat industry still in its infancy and soy and wheat being the most popular plant proteins, Australian growers can easily meet local market demand for homegrown meat alternatives. Rabobank Senior Grains and Oilseeds Analyst Dr Cheryl Kalisch Gordon said that, as the industry evolves, specialised crops such as chickpeas, black beans, mung beans, lentils and others held the most potential for farmers to capitalise on the plant-based meat substitute movement.

“Underpinning our expectations of continuing demand growth in the plant-based meat substitute segment over the next decade, is that consumers will be more discerning in the choice of products that meet and hold their interest, and so manufacturers will need to expand the range of plant protein ingredients they use,” she said.

The report also notes that no locally-grown plant proteins are currently used in the plant-based meat products available on Australian shelves, primarily due to limited local capacity for commercial pulse fractionation. Dr. Gordon explains that the development of export pathways would support the scaling up of a local processing industry, pointing to expectations that markets in Asia will offer strong demand as the plant-based meat trend continues to expand. “Australia will have to follow Canada’s lead, where several pulse-fractionation plants and substantial canola-fractionation capacity are coming online to support both local and export demand,” said Dr. Gordon.

READ MORE: Rabobank report: opportunities from plant-based meat [Food & Drink Business]