Wide Open Agriculture awarded $5m government grant for plant-based Buntine Protein production facility

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By Filip Karinja - 
Wide Open Agriculture ASX WOA government grant plant-based Buntine Protein production facility

In a leap forward for the Australian plant-based industry, Wide Open Agriculture (ASX: WOA) has been awarded an AUD$5 million grant from the Western Australian Government’s Investment Attraction Fund.

The grant aims to expedite the establishment of a pioneering production facility for the company’s innovative Buntine Protein® enhanced oat milk.

Strategically located in Western Australia, the facility is in a region globally recognised for high-quality oat production.

The proposed production site will produce oat milk in various formats, utilising the company’s proprietary lupin-based plant protein, Buntine Protein®.

The plant’s establishment is projected to augment WOA’s domestic production capabilities substantially, enhancing manufacturing efficiencies and reducing costs.

Such improvements will allow WOA to navigate the rapidly evolving consumer beverage markets effectively.

Jay Albany, the chief executive officer of Wide Open Agriculture, acknowledged the grant’s significance, stating, “We are immensely grateful for the support and trust vested in us by the Western Australian Government. This grant is not only a financial boost but also a testament to the viability and potential of our high protein oat milk. As we move forward, we’re more excited than ever to see our plans materialise, harnessing this opportunity to champion a new era of sustainable, innovative, and delicious plant-based nutrition.”

Commenting on the grant programme, premier Roger Cook said: “We’re backing local companies to manufacture here in WA, to value-add, and to take on the world in developing high-tech products for the future.”

This $5 million grant will be allocated in stages, with the release of funds linked to specific milestones and reporting achievements. The critical steps include the execution of the Financial Assistance Agreement (FAA) and securing necessary approvals for the plant’s construction and operation.

With the completion expected by June 2025, the company is optimistic about meeting these milestones, paving the way for the full grant sum’s disbursement.

Successfully manufactured into ready-to-drink prototype

WOA’s Buntine Protein® oat milk also recently reached a significant milestone as the company successfully manufactured a ready-to-drink (RTD) prototype.

Packaged smartly in a 330ml aluminium can, the RTD format confirms that Buntine Protein® can be processed, pasteurised and stably housed for consumers’ convenience.

Buntine Protein® oat milk aims to offer a nutritional, versatile, and sustainable alternative to traditional dairy milk and other oat milks.

The product combines the rich dietary fibre and heart-healthy attributes of oats with an increased protein content, offering a highly nutritious, plant-based alternative for various dietary preferences.

The company says that the grant represents not just a financial boost, but an endorsement of WOA’s vision for the future of the beverage industry.

By investing in sustainable, plant-based innovation, WOA aims to lead the charge in the transition to a more health-conscious, environmentally-friendly world.

This endeavour is reflected in the shared vision with the Western Australian Government and stands as a symbol of forward-thinking, cutting-edge innovation in the plant-based nutrition industry.