The University of Adelaide’s internationally recognised food scientist, Professor Martin Cole, has joined Australian plant-based meat startup v2food as its new Chief Scientific Advisor.
Professor Cole has over 20 years’ experience leading research in food and agriculture, spanning the private sector, government and academia. Before joining the University of Adelaide in early 2020, he served as Deputy Director of CSIRO Agriculture & Food and spent over 10 years leading projects in various areas including food safety, novel processing and nutritional food security.
At CSIRO, he led programs on supply chains and plant-based proteins, through which v2food came to fruition. He will support v2food alongside his role as the University’s Head of the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, which has a long history of innovation in grain production and nutrition. He is also an advisor of the UN Food Security Committee and a board member of Food Standards Australia New Zealand.
As Chief Scientific Advisor, Martin will draw on his experience and networks, as well as the University of Adelaide’s research on grain and legume breeding. This is vital for the development of an Australian supply chain to fuel v2’s expansion and help meet soaring global demand for plant-based meat.
“As the former leader of CSIRO’s research program into alternative proteins, Martin has been an integral part of the v2food journey since day one,” says Nick Hazell, v2food CEO and founder.
“He will bring world-leading technical expertise to bolster our strong R&D efforts, helping us to make the best product we can using the best local ingredients. With our v2mince and v2burgers gaining momentum, Martin’s input will be critical in helping us achieve our ambition of making great-tasting plant-based meat a part of people’s everyday diet.”
Professor Cole says: “The global demand for plant-based proteins is astronomical, and this provides a major opportunity for Australia to take a global leadership role. As a nation, we are globally competitive on grain and meat exports, however, we can be delivering far greater value out of the raw commodities we produce. That’s where v2food comes in.
“Grounded in CSIRO science and with the expertise of Nick Hazell at the helm, v2 wants to take Australian plant-based meat to the world and this means adding even more value to Australian agriculture. I am excited to join this first-class team and to be able to bring the transdisciplinary expertise from across the University of Adelaide, CSIRO and our partners together.”