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Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Ltd (ASX:ROO) is progressing its strategy to benefit from the fast-growing plant-based meat market, signing a letter of intent with Hempoint, a hemp producer in the Czech Republic, to explore hemp-based meat opportunities.

The two businesses will explore the commercial use of hemp protein in plant-based meat products, with Hempoint considering using Roots’ proprietary Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) technology to enhance hemp growth.

Venturing into plant-based meat

Roots established a plant-based meat arm in August, following encouraging study results that highlighted up to 67 per cent increases in pea and bean plant yields, both of which are used extensively in plant-based meat.

Roots CEO Boaz Wachtel said the agreement came off the back of interest in his company’s plant-based meat development.

“We are confident that we can achieve similar results with hemp plants,” he said.

“This is the first agreement we’ve inked off following several inbound enquiries, especially regarding organic substances for plant-based meat.

“We are very confident this deal with Hempoint will unlock opportunities in this rapidly growing sector and provide us with a springboard into Europe’s large plant-based meat market.”

Globally, the meat substitute market is expected to hit US$8.15 million by 2026, according to Fortune Business Insights.

European partner

Hempoint is an established organic hemp grower and manufacturer with customers in France, Italy and Poland. It is part of the CzecHemp cluster, a collection of parties interested in developing the Czech hemp and medicinal cannabis industry.

CzecHemp is investigating ways of increasing hemp protein from seeds to higher levels and is looking at the RZTO technology as a way of doing just that.

Hemp seed is a lean source of plant-based protein, with very low fat content, no cholesterol or saturated fat, and carries amino acids that help repair muscle cells, regulate the nervous system and boost brain function.

The next step in the partnership with Roots will be to test whether the RZTO tech has an impact on hemp protein yield.

– Daniel Paproth