Sustainable Foods, a New Zealand company and parent company of the plant-based meat company plan*t has received a NZ$1.25M Government loan to boost its growth capacity. 

The funding came from the New Zealand Government’s Regional Strategic Partnership Fund. Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash explained that Sustainable Foods was chosen as a recipient for “leading the charge to promote sustainability in the food and beverage market with its field-to-plate approach.”

After raising NZ$2.15M earlier in the year, Sustainable Foods has continued to receive support for its world-first plant-based meat products in the plan*t range made from locally sourced, environmentally sustainable, hemp. 

The company has been incredibly successful so far with more than 850% growth occurring  in the last three years and according to co-founder and CEO Justin Lemmems, is currently in a “critical growth phase.” 

Sustainable Foods’ recently acquired dairy giant Fonterra’s former factory in Kāpiti. This led to the creation of just under 100 new jobs with nearly 50% of these roles being locally filled. 

Minister Nash explained that this regional job creation was also a factor that contributed to Sustainable Foods being awarded the funding for “providing economic security for businesses and workers in regional New Zealand.”

This latest funding in combination with the closed capital raise will be used to assist the company in continuing to source more local ingredients as well as scaling production facilities to meet the fast-growing demand.

Sustainable Foods also hopes that increased production ability will enable export opportunities to international markets, with the first export market entry planned for later this year.   

Lemmens explained that there is huge growth and competition in the international market, therefore “for New Zealand to do well, innovation and collaboration are key.”

This investment is the third to come from the newly established Government fund as part of a wider strategy that develops a low-emissions, highly-skilled economy according to Minister Nash. 

READ MORE: Plant-based food company in Kāpiti granted million-dollar loan by Government to boost production [Stuff]