Top Thai food firm seeking meat alternative startups
Thailand’s leading private-sector food firm Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF), is launching a competition for startups to produce alternative beef. Plant-based substitutes for meat are gaining a greater foothold in markets worldwide.
CPF will partner with the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 2021 to host the CPF Innovation Challenge. Charoen Pokphand Foods is the jewel in the crown of CP Group, the Kingdom’s largest agro-industrial conglomerate and a huge regional producer of chickens, shrimps and animal feed.
But with climate change leading many consumers to examine and question the role of big agro-food companies in generating greenhouse gas emissions, CPF is joining the ranks of more progressive food firms in exploring plant-based or alternative proteins.
In a similar vein, Thai Union, the world’s largest tuna exporter, has been funding startups engaged in developing plant-based fish alternatives. And another Thai firm, NR Instant, is aiming to become the Foxconn of alternative proteins by building a massive lab and production facility to manufacture and supply other food companies with alternative proteins.
Lalana Thiranusornkij, Head of Innovation at CPF, said that the company recognizes that plant-based protein is a rapidly growing trend in many markets. However, finding the right ingredients and technologies to make plant-based meat the preferred choice for more consumers is challenging and complex, she said.
“Participating in this challenge is an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to work with a world-class food producer like CPF. They will have the chance to be coached by our executives and co-create the menu with our experienced chefs as well as having the opportunity to do ‘Proof of Concept’ with CPF to upscale the production for commercial purpose,” Lalana said.
Photo courtesy of https://www.cpfworldwide.com/