The latest Sydney networking night for plant-based professionals brought out over 70 ecosystem members spanning supermarkets, government, academia, and other sectors.
The second such event hosted by market research firm Alternative Proteins Global (APG), the Plant-Based Innovation & Networking Night was held on 28 November in Sydney’s Salesforce Tower at the newly opened Greenhouse Climate Tech Hub, the first climate tech co-working space in Australia.
APG Founder & CEO and event coordinator Nicholas Dahl spoke to Future Alternative about the significance of the activity to Australia’s plant-based sector.
“The night was a huge opportunity for attendees to network and taste some of the latest innovations in plant-based meat and dairy coming to Australia. APG is the only organization hosting dedicated events to the alternative protein industry in Sydney in the past half year and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, showing that there is a demand for more events and opportunities to connect within the industry.”
In addition to students, recruiters, local plant-based brands, and retailers such as Woolworths, the event was attended by representatives from government and nonprofit organizations including Investment NSW, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), the Australasian Plant Based Association, and the recently founded UNSW Alt Protein Project.
One of the highlights of the meetup was the opportunity for plant-based brands to showcase their products in front of investors, other corporate food companies, and restaurants.
Vegan cheese company Imber’s Pantry brought its recently debuted fresh mozzarella in brine, the first product of its kind to be launched nationwide at Woolworths and one of few such launches in major Australian supermarkets this year.
“We absolutely loved being a part of APG’s last event for the year,” Imber’s Pantry founder Imber Lingard told Future Alternative. “It was great to showcase our new brand Imber’s Pantry alongside incredible companies like Shandi and Compassion Creamery. The event space at Greenhouse was perfect and it was wonderful to connect with so many amazing people.”
Singapore-based Shandi Global launched its FOREVER brand of plant-based chicken exclusively in Australia earlier this year. The company claims to offer vegan chicken with more protein than conventional meat as well as the world’s first whole cut plant-based meat.
“I think it was a great event, especially because it was very diverse,” Shandi co-founder Dr Gaurav Sharma told Future Alternative. “It’s not just the consumers – we also had customers. They could try the product and give immediate feedback.”
Dahl said APG is already planning a series of plant-based events for early 2024, including a multi-day conference, pitch competition, and more, all to be announced soon.
Dahl added the events will also be held at Greenhouse Tech Hub in Sydney.