Supply Chain Council of European Union |

Wodonga to be home to $20 million factory for plant patties sold at Hungry Jack’s as Rebel Whoppers

news, national, Hungry Jack’s, plant-based eating

MEAT formed from plants, which is being used in Hungry Jack’s burgers, is to be produced in Wodonga. Joint venture firm v2food, partly owned by Hungry Jack’s founder Jack Cowin and the CSIRO, has bought the former Moore Paragon factory to make patties now in Rebel Whopper burgers. Production is expected to begin next July with an initial workforce of 40. The decision to buy the 23,300 square-metre Moloney Drive site followed a search along Australia’s east coast for a suitable location. It had been on the market, through AW Commercial Real Estate, for about a year with an asking price of $3.8 million. The site has been dormant since 2011 when South Pacific Print Group shut it down after having bought it the previous year from Paragon Printing which had gone into voluntary administration. At its height the forms factory, known as Moore Paragon for the bulk of its operation, employed up to 240. The Australian Financial Review reported last month that v2food planned to spend $20 million on a factory in a regional location. In the past week the start-up company announced it had raised $35 million in funding. The plant-generated Rebel Whopper burgers were launched in October after the patties were developed through CSIRO research. Their ingredients include protein isolated from soybeans, coconut oil, vegetable oil and water. Founder and chief executive of v2food Nick Hazell believes his legume patty is more tasty and affordable than similar plant foods. “The goal is for our product to be a delicious alternative to meat, accessible to every Australian,” Mr Hazell said. Mr Cowin thinks the category is “set to explode”. “I’ve eaten beef all my life but I’ve tasted the v2food and it tastes as good as beef,” Mr Cowin said. Border business leader Tim Farrah, who is the regional manager for Ai Group, welcomed news of v2food’s investment in the region. “It’s fantastic news, really good for locals,” he said. “From a staff point-of-view the technology in food manufacturing is incredibly high-tech, let alone something along the line of what these guys are producing.” Mr Farrah said he also anticipated there would be spin-off benefits to the primary industry field. “Hopefully we can see some flow-on to the farming sector and to those making hardware for agriculture,” he said. “The flow-on effects for this type of business could be really significant.” AW Commercial Real Estate agent Corey Findlay said there was interest from Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide in the site. The sale includes what is known as building three and 12,500 square metres of adjoining vacant land in the area near Wodonga railway station. It was owned by a Wodonga family which still controls nearby land that is leased to Victorian Freight Specialists.

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