BRAZIL – Brazilian beef producer Marfrig Global Foods SA, has reached an agreement with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) for the production and sale of plant-based protein products in Brazil.

Under the agreement, the US based grain trader will be responsible for supplying the primary raw material needed, while Marfrig will produce, distribute and sell the products in the foodservice and retail channels.

The production of plant-based burgers in Brazil will be launched at Marfrig’s unit in Várzea Grande, Mato Grosso. Part of the plant-based raw materials will be shipped directly from ADM’s plant in Campo Grande to Marfrig’s site.  

“Together, Marfrig and ADM will produce a 100% vegetable burger with a meat-like flavor and texture. We want to give consumers the power of choice. It’s up to them,” Eduardo Miron, chief executive of Marfrig, said in a statement.

Roberto Ciciliano, CEO of ADM Nutrition in Latin America, added: “We offer an advanced R&D structure, natural ingredients and technological solutions, including the advantage of local manufacturing, to anticipate industry trends and meet our clients’ needs with customised service.

“We are the ideal partner to support and foster the sustainable development of the food, specialties and healthy nutrition industry. And our agreement with Marfrig further strengthens that proposition.”

It is expected the first plant-based burgers to be produced under the partnership will reach the Brazilian market by the end of this year, with exports following later.

In the first phase of the launch, the products will be supplied to foodservice clients before being made available in retail channels, reports FoodBev.

Marfrig has said it will release a specific brand for its plant-based products. “The plant-based burgers will complement Marfrig’s product portfolio and be distributed through all our market channels,” Eduardo added.

The move underscores companies’ need to adapt to changing consumer habits, and makes Marfrig the latest meatpacker to join campaign.

Tyson Foods, the largest meat producer in the US, announced plans to launch its own line of plant based meat alternatives.

The Arkansas-headquartered company will this year release a range of plant-based nuggets made from pea protein isolate as well as blended burgers made with a combination of Angus beef and plants.