A SUPPLY agreement for Buntine Protein has been signed between Wide Open Agriculture (WOA) and one of Australia's biggest food and beverage companies, Monde Nissin Australia (MNA).
MNA is the owner of leading food and beverage brands Nudie, Black Swan, Peckish and Wattle Valley, with a national distribution network covering major supermarkets, independent grocers and food service.
Buntine Protein is a high-value, plant-based protein concentrate made from lupin seeds that can be used as a main ingredient to replace animal-based ingredients for food and beverage applications.
In response to the growing plant-based foods sector, MNA will use Buntine Protein as the main ingredient to develop various products for the Australian market.
WOA managing director Ben Cole said Buntine Protein had been developed to have no carbon footprint, no water pollution and to support the uptake of regenerative farming systems.
"It has the potential to create plant-based meat, dairy, baked goods, noodles and protein supplements," Dr Cole said.
"We have dedicated considerable resources to provide commercially competitive pricing for Buntine Protein against other plant-based protein alternatives.
"While the specific pricing and tonnages in the agreement remain confidential, it is estimated MNA will purchase about 60 per cent of total production from the Buntine Protein pilot production facility, over a two-year period."
Given its strong market position and track record, MNA was strategically WOA's preferred partner to commercialise the potential of Buntine Protein.
However the agreement is non-exclusive, allowing WOA to continue engaging with other potential partners and offer Buntine Protein as a key ingredient in product development to other food and beverage companies.
If MNA's new product development is received well in its test market, WOA plans to build a large-scale commercial plant to supply its long-term volume requirements.
"MNA is committed to supporting the uptake of sustainable and regenerative farming practices," said MNA general manager - strategic projects Ian Griffiths.
"We are rapidly advancing a range of innovative products to utilise Buntine Protein with its exceptional nutritional benefits."
Dr Cole said key equipment for the pilot lupin plant had been received and the company was on track with milestones for commissioning.
"The facility will enable in-house development of plant-based food and beverage products and development of proprietary IP for Buntine Protein," he said.
"Construction of the pilot plant has commenced, with initial production of Buntine Protein estimated to be achieved in quarter four of this financial year."
Since the initial design, WOA has expanded the scope and scale of the facility to enable these types of supply agreements as well as to develop its roadmap, including its high-protein oat milk.
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