CirPro, an Australian protein manufacturer and meat processor, has secured the first sale of an Asparagopsis-based feed supplement, which can reduce a ruminant’s methane emissions by over 80 percent.

The seaweed-based supplement is the brainchild of FutureFeed, a collaboration between the CSIRO, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), and James Cook University.

Formed in August 2020, FutureFeed is supported by investors including GrainCorp, Harvest Road Group, Woolworths Group, AGP Sustainable Real Assets and Cultiv8 Joint Venture.

“Just a few years ago, Asparagopsis was a largely unknown seaweed that was not cultivated in commercial quantities and had very few applications outside of niche cosmetics and as a condiment in Hawaii,” said Cassandra Kelly, senior advisor to FutureFeed.

“Now we are seeing a new industry with the capability to support local communities and the creation of jobs whilst working together to make a meaningful impact on methane emissions from livestock.”

There are currently three licensees for the Asparagopsis feed supplement in Australia: Sea Forest, SeaStock and CH4 Global, which secured the CirPro sale.

CH4 Global’s Australia and New Zealand operations will supply product using both marine and tank cultivated seaweed.

Its methane-reduction roadmap includes a five year target of reaching 150 million cattle — 10 percent of the world’s total — on all six habitable continents, which will prevent the emission of 1 gigaton of CO2 equivalent. Plans for 2023 and 2024 are focused on rapid commercial growth in Australia and New Zealand.

According to CirPro CEO, Roger Smyth, the multi-million dollar commitment is a significant milestone.

“CirPro is excited to partner with CH4 Global for the first commercial supply of Asparagopsis seaweed-supplement in Australia. This marks an important milestone towards the goal of a carbon-neutral beef industry in Australia by systemically reducing, not just offsetting, emissions. It represents a win for the beef industry, a win for Australia, and a win for the planet,” he said.

MLA managing director, Jason Strong, echoed this sentiment, reiterating that emissions avoidance is a critical component of the red meat industry’s sustainability targets.

“We are proud to be working alongside FutureFeed in rolling out Asparagopsis to a range of commercial partners. Asparagopsis is one of many exciting tools the industry can embrace in working towards our goal of carbon neutrality at the end of the decade,” he said.

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