Australia’s national science research agency CSIRO is partnering with one of the country’s best known entrepreneurs, Jack Cowin, to launch a bold new plant-based meat start-up called v2food. 

v2food is described as a “sustainable, plant-based alternative to meat with great flavour at its core”.

The new company is led by former Masterfoods and PepsiCo Research Director, Nick Hazell. He explains the thinking behind the business: “Food version 1 just isn’t good enough. We need a version 2 for our own health and for the health of the planet. We’re using the latest science from CSIRO to make plant-based food that tastes great and satisfies the needs of a rapidly growing global population.“

With the backing of both government and industry, v2food had all the right ingredients for success from day one. The company’s rapid growth, from foundation to national launch in eight months, is a result of the team’s access to CSIRO’s expansive network of expertise.

“Food version 1 just isn’t good enough. We need a version 2 for our own health and for the health of the planet”

CSIRO provided research and development resources to v2food on a research-for-equity arrangement.

While a one-man-team at the beginning, Hazell had access to hundreds of the best scientific minds to help perfect the product.

He adds: ”Making meat alternatives from plants is not a new idea but at v2food we’ve taken it a step further.

“We are on a journey to make plant-based food both taste better and be more sustainable. The protein substitutes available to date simply don’t taste as good as meat and they are not affordable.”

Made from legumes, the company’s ‘mince’ is said to look and taste like quality meat and contains added fibre and nutrients.

“We seem to have the right resources for success,” chairman and CEO of Competitive Foods Australia (which provided seed funding for the new business), Jack Cowin said.

“With CSIRO’s outstanding research and technology capabilities, the passion of the v2food team led by Nick Hazell and Competitive Foods Australia’s ability to help build and commercialise businesses, we believe that we have the ingredients for a successful venture.

“We’ve seen a huge opportunity for plant-based proteins and the category is set to explode.

“I’ve eaten beef all my life but I’ve tasted the v2food and it tastes as good as beef.

“Therefore, we can’t wait to take v2food to consumers with some fantastic new products,” Mr Cowin said.

Photo: Burgers made with v2food plant-based ‘mince’