Farm Tender

The Changing Landscape of Protein Production

  • By: "Prime" Ag News
  • Hay & Fodder News
  • Jun 22, 2020
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By Dr Samuel Admassu, Researcher; Teresa Fox, Researcher; Richard Heath, Executive Director and Katie McRobert, General Manager

Animal agriculture is under more community scrutiny than ever before. Social license issues have arisen on everything from livestock’s contribution to climate change through to shifting animal welfare expectations. These institutional risks are driving industry change. Understanding consumer trends towards alternative proteins and industry implications are key to proactively engaging with, and responding to, these changes.

The shift towards alternative proteins has gathered momentum over the past 18 months, with large-scale food retailers promoting plant-sourced meat to mainstream consumers. The impact of growth in vegetarian, veganism and flexitarian consumer segments is often debated in industry circles.

This study focuses on the implications for Australia’s agriculture and fisheries sector in response to the opportunities and challenges of the emerging market for alternative (i.e. non-traditional) proteins.

Read the full report here.

The research, undertaken by the Australian Farm Institute, for the first time not only outlines the size of the alternative proteins trend but also unpacks the likely implications for the sector. The research tells us that despite the trend towards alternative proteins, large opportunities exist for animal proteins into the future. Whether an industry will benefit from the alternative protein trend or not, there are critical policy and regulatory issues that need to be addressed.

Consumer preferences and trends will undoubtedly continue to change and adapt over time and we know that a future-thinking sector needs to be responsive and capitalise on opportunities where possible. This work ensures industries are armed with information to understand the impacts of the increasing trend towards alternative proteins and, in response, make sound, timely production and marketing decisions.

While the trend to alternative proteins offers a modest opportunity in Australia, the sector also needs to be mindful of the magnification of small shifts in consumer and community trends in the media and on social media. Providing clear, independent research is critical to understanding the true impact from changing trends with an eye to regions like America and Europe to identify trends early and respond appropriately.

This report has been produced under AgriFutures Australia’s National Rural Issues Program. It is an addition to AgriFutures Australia’s diverse range of over 2000 research publications and it forms part of our National Challenges and Opportunities arena, which aims to identify and nurture research and innovation opportunities that are synergistic across rural sectors. Most of AgriFutures Australia’s publications are available for viewing, free downloading or purchasing online at:

John Harvey

Managing Director AgriFutures Australia

Read the full report here.