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Rabobank FoodBytes Pilot

MLA is set to collaborate with start-ups to explore new solutions and technologies, engaging with early-stage companies that can improve the perception of red meat.

Project start date: 26 June 2020
Project end date: 20 May 2021
Publication date: 22 February 2022
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Grain-fed Cattle, Grass-fed Cattle, Sheep, Goat, Lamb
Relevant regions: National
Download Report (3.1 MB)


FoodBytes! Pilot brings together cutting-edge start-ups with forward thinking corporates to codevelop new products, adapt technologies to new industries, build lasting commercial partners and more. Start-ups will design and implement pilot tests over six months together with their corporate partners, each focusing on a designated business challenge. Challenges that were tackled during the MLA’s Future Food Corporate Accelerator program with
FoodBytes! Pilot included clean label food, reduced plastic waste in meat packaging and foods for an ageing active population that integrate Australian Red Meat, with newly selected start-ups who
were selected over 18 initially scouted for the customized engagement.


Through FoodBytes! Pilot, MLA is set to collaborate with start-ups to explore new solutions and technologies and engage with early stage companies that can support MLA’s ambition to improve
the perception of meat and spread the word on the benefits of meat products. The organisation identified three innovation objectives to focus on during FoodBytes! Pilot 2020-2021.
 Clean Label Food – emerging Food Tech platforms/ingredients applied to “natural, free from” value added red meat products.
 Reduced Plastic Waste – meat packaging: MLA is interested in exploring alternate, sustainable packaging materials that could be applied to fresh and/or cooked products with inclusion of beef, sheep meat or goat that reduce plastic waste and/or use.
 Foods for an Ageing Population: With life expectancy increasing, there is interest in dietary strategies for achieving a longer, healthier lifestyle.

Key findings

The engagement with FoodBytes! Pilot began by accessing their global network of over 3,000 startups and technologies. The FoodBytes! team prepared a shortlist 45 start-ups that fit the MLA objectives, detailed in the three innovation briefs. During the start-up selection phase, MLA reviewed the pitches and materials from the start-ups that align with MLA’s target briefs and broader strategic goals. Among the applications, MLA interviewed 12 start-ups selecting four to pilot with that fit with their innovation objectives: Adalin Health & Nutrition, Elemental Digest, Mori and Notpla, whose solutions ranged from alternatives to plastic, capitalizing on the entire carcase and uncovering new occasions and format to consume Australian Red Meat.

Benefits to industry

Potential value adding benefits to the Australian Red Meat industry were identified as per below.
Notpla - Discover plastic reduction packaging technologies to improve sustainability messaging for Australian red meat consumers.
Mori - Discover natural processes to preserve red meat, thereby increasing red meat shelf life and reducing waste.
Elemental Digest - Discover methods for capturing and adding value to traditionally low value and waste processing by-products.
And, Adalin Health - Discover new consumption occasions for ageing populations that typically reduce their red meat consumption.

MLA action

Share these learnings with industry to understand further adoption and commercial opportunities.

Future research

Over a 4-5-month period, each of the 4 start-ups successfully developed Minimum Viable Product (MVP) concepts and deduced insights that were presented back to MLA. These start-ups each have potential to continue their work in partnership with MLA that could
significantly impact the Australian Red Meat value chain.