CHINA September 2019
 
US-based Sustainable Bioproducts aims to offer China with substitute protein for Pork
 
US-based Sustainable Bioproducts is all set to offer China with its own version of substitute protein to help the country cope with pork shortages due to African Swine Fever (ASF).
The company’s Co-founder Tony Vernon said, “While the need for alternative protein technology is not confined to a single market, in a country like China, which already is facing a shortage of arable land and now must tackle both issues of the African swine fever epidemic and climate change, alternative protein has definitely a role to play there.”
Sustainable Bioproducts edible protein, which is different from plant-based protein, is derived from a fermentation technology based on extremophile organisms found in the Yellowstone National Park's volcanic springs. Vernon said Sustainable Bioproducts is open to launching its own brands or establishing partnerships with other food groups in mainland China.
China is experiencing its worst ASF outbreak in history which saw its hog population shrinked by 28.5% in June 2019 from a year ago. ASF has now spread to all its 31 provinces and autonomous regions. Rabo Bank estimated that the outbreak could halve China's pig herd this year, triggering a 25?cline in pork production.
Sustainable Bioproducts completed its financing round in February 2019 that was partly backed by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a US$1 billion tech fund led by Bill Gates with the support of Alibaba Group Holding executive chairman Jack Ma amongst others. The financing round was led by 1955 Capital, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.
Andrew Chung, a board member of Sustainable Bioproducts and founder of the venture capital firm 1955 Capital, said the company expects a full-scale commercialisation of their product platform in the next 12 to 18 months, and is currently working on gaining regulatory approvals in the US.
In China, Sustainable Bioproducts will be competing with other foreign plant-based meat producers such as Beyond Meat, which has plans to start distribution this year. Shenzhen-based Whole Perfect Food is another well-established rival with local production facilities producing plant-based meat products.
 
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