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Shama Lee

Putting down new roots, part two: How the success of Sunfed Meats could spark a new future of New Zealand farming

Audacious change

Putting down new roots, part two: How the success of Sunfed Meats could spark a new future of New Zealand farming

Our farming systems stand on the precipice of intense change. The task of how to feed a growing population that is set to reach 10 billion people by 2050 in the face of climate change, resource scarcity, and land degradation has forced innovation to spur. Scientists and technologists have blown the whistle on traditional farming methods and subsequently, new systems of agriculture have emerged. Plant-based meats have sprouted, cellular agriculture and alternative protein products have spread across supermarkets and fast food joints, and farmers have more environmental accountability. Thankfully, strides in technological development have opened the gates for a fourth agricultural revolution, but will New Zealand – with its national identity that’s deeply entrenched in traditional farming methods – be willing to move with it? In part two of a series, Findlay Buchanan talks to one of the pioneers growing the pastures of agricultural posterity.

Meaty alternatives

Sunfed has become a rooster in the meat free meat market. Its Chicken Free Chicken - launched in 2017 - has consistently sold out across supermarkets nationwide, it’s claimed to be the best-selling dish at local bakeries, and has been given the nod by Nigel Latta and Carolyn Robinson. Now, the Auckland-based meat free meat company is set to fly across the world. It’s recently completed a NZ$10 milion Series A capital raise to take its plant-based meat global. The round was led by Australian venture capital fund Blackbird Ventures with participation from prominent New Zealand entrepreneur and investor Stephen Tindall’s K1W1, Quadrant Private Equity founder Chris Hadley, and the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, NZVIF.