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MLA RocketSpace (TERRA) 2019 Industry Collaborative Program

Did you know MLA collaborates with start-up companies to create innovative new products and technologies?

Project start date: 30 November 2018
Project end date: 01 December 2020
Publication date: 02 July 2020
Livestock species: Sheep, Goat, Lamb, Grassfed cattle, Grainfed cattle
Relevant regions: National
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Summary

Rabobank’s TERRA program is a global innovation accelerator program that brings together experts and innovators in a range of areas, including supply chain optimisation, food traceability and transparency, and waste reduction.

In 2019, MLA participated in the fourth Food and Agriculture Accelerator TERRA program to co-develop new products, gain market and consumer insights, and experiment with new technologies and practices. MLA was part of a wider group of Food and Ag companies who reviewed proposed innovation solutions from 63 applicants that aligned to MLA’s vision.

During the five-month program, MLA partnered with Phyto Corporation, Shameless Pets LLC, The Better Meat Co and Corumat Inc to co-create several new products, including biodegradable packaging and pet food containing upcycled beef.

Objectives

The aim of the collaboration was to work with Rabobank USA to connect MLA to food innovators and start-up companies who had not yet considered Australian beef or sheepmeat in their product lines.

MLA collaborated with four start-up companies to explore new solutions and technologies that focused on three key innovations:

  • alternative packaging and meat products derived from food waste
  • novel products made from red meat
  • new categories such as wellness foods, pet food and sustainable packaging materials.

Key findings

  • In collaboration with Corumat Inc, MLA successfully tested a meat tray made from upcycled food waste.
    • 88% of consumers preferred packaging made from recyclable, organic materials
    • 100% of manufacturers said some of their customers require compostable packaging.
  • In collaboration with Phyto Corporation, MLA gained insights into three new products to integrate Australian beef with plant-based salt.
    • 80% of Korean shoppers preferred the new products based on Australian beef over a popular Korean brand.
  • In collaboration with Shameless Pets LLC, MLA created a new upcycled beef product to test the market for Australian pet food meat in the US market that targets the “humanisation of pet food” trend and adds value to secondary cuts of meat.
  • In collaboration with The Better Meat Co, MLA validated the functionality of blending plant-based ingredients with Australian beef products to produce a dried snack, which provides an opportunity for the industry to lower costs and reach a growing demographic of health and environmentally-conscious consumers.
    • 20% of consumers are willing to pay premium prices for these blended products.

Benefits to industry

The TERRA program has enabled MLA to:

  • collaborate with start-up companies to identify new solutions to industry challenges
  • identify new opportunities for funding research and development in a sustainable and cost-effective way
  • use innovative technologies to address product longevity and waste reduction.

Prototyping new products and gaining a better understanding of packaging materials and food waste allows MLA to demonstrate new food, ingredient and packaging technologies for red meat.

MLA action

  • Shameless Pets has successfully completed refinements to a beef and seafood dog treat and has secured product development. MLA is now connecting Australian red meat suppliers to the intended $1.8mill AUD raw meat opportunity. MLA has continued working with Shameless Pets to develop a lamb-based and goat-based pet food treat.
  • MLA has connected Corumat to the Waste2Profit Rural R&D for Profit program to further explore red meat waste sources for value adding.
  • MLA Donor Company has partnered an Australian company, RTC Foods, with The Better Meat Co to further develop its blended meat plant protein product range.

Future research

MLA has committed to the 2020-21 Rabobank Accelerator program, now known as FoodBytes! Pilot, and has commenced the review process to secure several new partners to collaborate with. Key focus areas will be on novel food technology innovators that target foods for an ageing population, clean labelled foods and reduced plastic packaging solutions for red meat.

More information

Project manager: Michael Lee
Primary researcher: Rabobank