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Leaft Foods plans to produce protein from leafy crops


8 August 2019

Leaft Foods announces plans to produce protein from leafy crops

• Plant protein ingredients company, Leaft Foods has been launched in Canterbury by Dr John Leyland Penno and Maury Leyland Penno

• Leaft Foods are combining existing and new technology with the aim of producing a range of high value leaf protein concentrate ingredients for leading food companies around the world

• The paddock to product business seeks to play a role in agricultural sector transformation, partnering with farmers to reduce on-farm net emissions, targeting nitrogen and methane.

Christchurch, New Zealand (8 August 2019) – Leaft Foods Ltd is officially launched by founders John and Maury Leyland Penno.

Leaft Foods aims to produce leaf protein concentrate ingredients for leading consumer food companies around the world. These protein products are expected to have high nutritional value and a lighter environmental footprint than either animal or grain-based sources of protein.

The paddock to product business concept will integrate with existing farming systems by partnering with farmers to grow leafy crops that remove nitrogen from soils as the raw material for protein manufacture. The process will also produce a reduced protein high-quality ensiled feed that has the potential to increase animal performance and reduce nitrogen losses from dairy and beef farming systems.

John and Maury Leyland Penno recognized that the global food industry must change in order to responsibly feed our rapidly growing population while protecting the planet. They created Leaft Foods to be part of the solution.

“New Zealand’s innovative farmers and business people have used the natural advantages of the climate and environment of Aotearoa New Zealand to create world leading business models, especially in the production, manufacture and export of dairy, beef, lamb and wool commodities. One of the critical factors behind these strengths has been the ability to grow green leafy crops,” said founder and director Maury Leyland Penno.

“We have created Leaft Foods to meet the needs of global customers and provide real options to diversify farming and support the changes needed to reduce the environmental issues caused by excess agricultural nitrogen.”

Dr John Leyland Penno said “New Zealand has great people who know how to make these things happen. We are partnering with some of New Zealand’s leading research institutes, universities, agricultural advisors and farmers and we have achieved enough to be confident that Leaft Foods will be able to commercialise this concept at scale”.

“Today is an early step for us as we progress towards developing the systems and infrastructure required and working with customers to develop new functional ingredients enabling a range of food products”.

Speaking about the company’s next steps, general manager Ross Milne was enthusiastic about taking the company forward, “not only is Leaft Foods going to be supplying high quality plant-based protein as a functional ingredient, we hope to be a catalyst for the food and farming industries to innovate and evolve towards a healthier, sustainable future”.

As part of its growth strategy, Leaft Foods is looking to expand its team with people who share the values of its founders and existing employees. “We are seeking excellent people who aren’t afraid of a challenge and want to work with us to make New Zealand a leader in environmental innovation”, said Ross.

For more information, please visit the Leaft Foods website:

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