The Australian food and agribusiness industry could capture an extra $55 billion by shifting its mindset around protein, Food Innovation Australia Ltd (FIAL) says.

In its report Protein Market: Size of the Prize Analysis for Australia, FIAL analyses 50 protein types in 11 regional markets. The aim is to “trigger a national call to action for industry to adopt new thinking around protein and help position Australia as a leading supplier of the world’s proteins,” it says.

FIAL says shifting Australia’s protein production mix to match projected global consumption for high-value proteins could create an additional $55 billion in 2025, as compared to business-as-usual approaches.

Global protein consumption rose 40 per cent from 2000 to 2018 with Asia accounting for more than 50 per cent of that growth.

It is estimated that globally, each person consumes 26 kilograms of protein a year. That is expected to grow by 27 per cent to 33 kilograms in 2025. Indonesia and Sub-Suharan Africa are expected to see 3.6 per cent growth every year from 2018 to 2025.

FIAL says plant-based proteins account for 66 per cent of global protein consumption supply and is expected to remain the dominant source through 2025. By then the global protein market will be worth up to $513 billion, 40 per cent coming from meat proteins.

China is projected to be the largest market across all protein categories, except plant-based. The country alone could account for 35% of global protein market value in 2025.

Protein demand is expected to grow by up to 20 per cent by 2025.

FIAL says there are three imperatives for Australian producers to unlock new opportunities in the global market.

Firstly, protein demand is likely to continue to grow quickly but the drivers of demand will potentially be different from the past. Population growth is a key driver, but so is urbanisation and the growing consumer class.

Secondly, global protein supply will evolve, with slowing growth rates in meat to be offset by increasing plant-based protein and aquaculture production.

And finally, it is strategic for Australian producers to unlock new opportunities in the global market. FIAL says: “If Australian producers were to restructure their food production mix and shift into higher value protein categories such as aquaculture or differentiate their offering through the adoption of new technology and innovations to match global protein consumption, they could capture up to $55 billion more in production value in 2025 as compared to a business-as-usual trajectory.”

It concedes it is not something to be achieved in the short term, but Australian producers and manufacturers can put mechanisms in place today to capture the future market.

Companies should look to strengthen partnerships in high-potential markets by taking advantage of existing free trade deals and forming commercial collaborations with local players in these markets, FIAL says.

For businesses to harness opportunities beyond food production, the study recommends producers should explore deeper collaborations with other players across the value chain such as food processors, researchers, nutritionists and technology providers.



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