Israeli plant-based food company expands to Queensland

Vegan foods company, Vgarden, will create a new, plant-based foods factory in Brisbane, Queensland. The deal is part of an ongoing relationship with Australia-based Cale and Daughters, which owns multiple vegan brands.

The 2 companies have worked together for 2 years to build plant-based food distribution in Australia. The new factory is scheduled for completion in 2023 and will employ 50 staff.

‘Once fully established, our new facility will allow us to use locally sourced materials with a smaller carbon footprint,’ says Ben Dotan, Head of Innovation and Engagements at Vgarden. ‘We will also investigate the possibility of exporting our products from Australia to the APAC region.’

Israeli company invests in locally produced vegan foods

Israel-based Vgarden is a pioneer of plant-based foods. The company develops, manufactures and distributes a range of products in Israel, including:

  • dairy-free cheese and spreads
  • vegan pastries
  • meat and fish alternatives
  • lactose-free foodstuffs.

The company is a supplier to major food chains, including Burger King and Pizza Hut. Vgarden is already a supplier to Woolworths in Australia.

Rapid growth in Australia’s vegan foods industry

Australia is a major producer of grains, pulses and legumes. With an advanced agri-research sector, Australia is now poised to become a global leader in plant-based proteins.

The Australian science research organisation CSIRO estimates that Australia’s A$140 million plant-based protein sector could grow to $9 billion by 2030 (CSIRO: Australia’s Protein Roadmap, PDF 7MB).

Consumption is also a spur to growth.

Australia is the world’s third fastest-growing market for plant-based foods. Food Frontier data shows that in 2019–20, Australia’s plant-based meat sector generated A$185 million in sales. This is up 32% from A$140 million in 2018–19.

Two grilled plant-based burger patties in a frypan

Collaboration with home-grown vegan company

The new joint venture production plant in Brisbane represents a new step in the tie-up between Vgarden and Cale and Daughters.

‘We are extremely proud of the partnership we have forged with Cale and Daughters over the last 2 years,’ says Ilan Adut, CEO, Vgarden Israel. ‘We share the same idealist values and a clear vision for the potential of delicious, nutritious foods.’

Founder and CEO of Cale and Daughters, Cale Drouin, says consumer demand in the vegan sector continues to surge.

‘Manufacturing locally in Australia means we will be able to maintain price competitiveness,’ she says. ‘Partnering with Vgarden also means we can offer Australia customers quality plant-based products that have a smaller carbon footprint.’

How Austrade helped

Austrade advisers have accompanied Vgarden on its journey to expand its business into Australia. Assistance includes:

  • introductions to the relevant state government agencies in Queensland to expand local business networks and provide local support
  • guidance with travel and visa issuing processes
  • an overview of Australia’s growing alternative protein sector and salient market trends
  • information about grants and incentives programs
  • referrals to professional service providers including law firms and bilateral accountants.

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