AUSTRALIAN company Sodexo has partnered with plant-based meat innovator Beyond Meat to deliver sustainable protein alternatives to miners and corporate workers.
Sodexo delivers a unique array of more than 100 integrated services lines including catering, facilities management, concierge services, security, asset maintenance and hospitality services in sectors such as energy and resources, defence, healthcare and seniors, and education.
Following demand from mine workers, Sodexo will deliver Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger, a non-beef patty, to several sites as part of a three-month trial.
The Beyond Burger patty requires 99pc less water and 93pc less land than its beef equivalent, according to a recent Beyond Meat-commissioned study by the Center for Sustainable Systems at University of Michigan.
The burger also generates 90pc fewer greenhouse gas emissions and requires 46pc less energy to produce.
Sodexo Australia food platform director Tim Hartley said the company wanted to deliver workers healthier options and more sustainable choices.
“There has been significant demand from both meat and non-meat eaters to provide more vegetarian options,” he said.
“The addition of the Beyond Burger to our menus sparks a great conversation around perceptions on what people like to eat and how society is moving towards a more plant-based diet.”
Beyond Meat is America’s highest grossing plant-based meat alternative product company and experienced the highest initial public offering by a US company on the NASDAQ Composite stock market in almost 20 years.
It chose Australia as its first launch country outside the US and Sodexo as its first Australian corporate responsibility partner.
Adrian Gastevski, Australian director of Future Farm Co, the importer of Beyond Meat in Australia, said this trending movement is seeing plant-based products replicate the complete experience of eating traditional meat, with no cholesterol and much less saturated fat.
“Plant-based products demonstrate the direction of innovation where society can benefit from products that finally taste more like those we are used to eating, but deliver greater health and environmental benefits than an animal meat-based diet. Ultimately, it’s better for us and better for the environment,” he said.
The Beyond Burgers have been engineered with a similar composition to red meat, beginning with pea protein isolate, canola oil, refined coconut oil, cellulose from bamboo, and potato starch.
Trace amounts of beetroot give a meaty red colour while coconut oil ensures mouth-watering juiciness.
Further, the Beyond Burger packs 20g of plant-based pea protein and has no cholesterol, no genetically modified organisms, soy or gluten.
“A common misconception is that plant-based products have a long list of ingredients, compared to animal meat,” Mr Gastevski said.
“These products have the same molecular make-up as animal products, a combination of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and water.”
Sodexo looks to incorporate more Beyond Meat products, such as the Beyond Sausage, to sites in the future.
Sodexo’s decision to introduce the product aligns with the company’s Better Tomorrow 2025 corporate social responsibility road map, with a key goal being sustainability.