Saturday, September 21, 2019

Food firm eyes Mindanao’s cassava

Beyond Kimchi Burger. (Photo from Beyond Meat website)

A VEGAN company based in the United States of America (USA) is eyeing to source its cassava from Mindanao as the company expands its food business venture in the island.

Beyond Meat, which is based in Los Angeles, California, is known as producer of plant-based meat substitutes and has recently launched its first plant-based burger.

Beyond Meat marketing officer Doctor Andrie Udal met with Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) chairperson Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on Wednesday, August 28, to discuss the possibility of sourcing cassava from Mindanao.

Piñol said if the company pushes through with its plan, it will boost Mindanao’s agricultural productivity and increase export potentials. He said they will assist the company in linking them with the local food growers to start initial production agreements of cassava.

“As to demand, no exact volume [yet] because the meeting was exploratory in nature. But Dr. Udal and his team will visit Minda on September 19 for sampling and tasting. As agreed, Minda will present the varieties of cassava, carlang, and ube,” he added.

It was also revealed in their meeting that Beyond Meat is targeting to open a processing plant in Mindanao in December this year.

The company was founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown and its products became available across the United States in 2013. Among their popular products are the Beyond Burger, Beyond Beef, Beyond Sausage, and Beyond Beef Crumbles. These are all plant-based yet, accordingly, taste the same as the original meat.

Last May, the company opened in Manila where vegan diet or the total abstinence in eating meat to protect the animals and the environment is becoming a trend.

Beyond Meat has recently partnered with popular fast food chain KFC for the testing of a plant-based “chicken” in Atlanta, United States. In a Bloomberg report by Jonathan Roeder and Deena Shanker dated August 26, KFC tested plant-based nuggets and boneless wings in one of its branches in Atlanta. Beyond Meat has also partnered with Dunkin’ Donuts in July for Beyond Breakfast Sausage Sandwich, which features a vegan “sausage”. It has also partnered with Subway, One of the United State’s largest restaurant chain, for the introdction of Beyond Meatball Marinara sub, which features a vegan “meatball”.


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