Wide Open Agriculture - an Australian based regenerative agriculture company making strong progress
Updated: Aug 26, 2022
Wide Open Agriculture Ltd (ASX: WOA; FSE: 2WO) is one of the few globally publicly listed regenerative agriculture companies.
The Company is also the only listed regenerative agriculture company in the world dedicated to a “4 returns” philosophy. The company’s constitution recognises the importance of delivering meaningful and measurable returns across four key areas – financial, social, natural, and inspirational.
Wide Open Agriculture has attracted global investor capital with Dutch Commonland Foundation with around 13% equity and high net wealth family from the Netherlands of Fanja Pon with around 15% equity.
The Company’s branded food line is “Dirty Clean Food” with regeneratively grown oat milk, fruit and vegetables and diary items. The product line also includes meat items from livestock raised by free grazing on paddocks dedicated to regenerative agriculture.
It has been a busy 6 months for the Company.
Wide Open Agriculture announced in June 2022 the opening of its plant-based protein pilot production facility located in Western Australia.
The pilot facility will be used to produce a breakthrough, eco-friendly protein called Buntine Protein. The protein is made from Lupin seeds or Lupine (as it is named in North America).
Lupin is increasingly viewed as a wonder crop – it can help sequester carbon, reduce fungicide use and contribute to building soil organic matter. Lupins are also something of a wonder food – rich in protein, fibre, Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B9) and Vitamin E.
Developed in partnership with Curtin University, Buntine Protein has a low carbon footprint, high-protein concentration, low fat, non-GMO and produces zero water pollution. Buntine Protein has the potential to create plant-based meat, diary, baked goods, noodles, and protein supplements.
The plant-based market could have a market of almost US$162 billion by 2030, according to a recent report by Bloomberg Intelligence. The market in 2022 is estimated at US$44 billion, so a lot of potential for a company like Wide Open Agriculture.
Wide Open Agriculture has big plans in this space. Chairman, Anthony (Maz) Maslin said, “If one day we were to convert the entire current Western Australian lupin crop to Buntine Protein, it would be worth upwards of A$1 billion in sales a year”.
Wide Open Agriculture announced in May 2022 a supply agreement with Monde Nissin Australia Pty Ltd (MNA) to supply Buntine Protein. It has been estimated by the Company that MNA will purchase up to 60% of total production over a 2-year period from the Company’s pilot production facility.
MNA intend to use Buntine Protein as a key ingredient for new product development and could potentially launch and market the products to their extensive network of customers in Australia.
Ben Cole, the CEO of Wide Open Agriculture, said “WOA is excited to be working with MNA who share our passion to develop the market for regenerative lupin products. This agreement has the potential to catalyse farmers to grow more regenerative lupins and offer consumers a range of innovative delicious plant-based products”
In August, Wide Open Agriculture announced a robust Butine protein pipeline set to deliver strong sales growth in the coming years.
A new, exclusive 2-year distribution agreement with DKSH for carbon neutral oat milk sales in Taiwan was signed in May 2022. DKSH is a leading market expansion service provider operating in 36 markets. The agreement included all four flavours of Dirty Clean Oat milk – Original, Barista, Chocolate and Coffee.
Dirty Clean Food’s Oat Milk is the first oat milk that is carbon neutral and produced from regeneratively farmed oats. The agreement with DKSH Taiwan is the fifth major distribution agreement announced by Dirty Clean Food and reflects increasing global interest in regeneratively produced and sustainably made produce.
Earlier in the year the Company shipped its first orders of Dirty Clean Food Oat Milk to Australian Woolworths stores. This was on the back of news that Woolworths had increased its ranging of Dirty Clean Food Oat Milk from 500 stores to 650 nationwide
In August 2022 the Company announced its Oat Milk was sold in over 1,500 retail and café locations with A$2.75 million in recent distribution agreements.
The company is well positioned as global sales of oat milk are expected to grow at an average rate of 14% from 2020 to 2028 from a global base of US$ 2.23 billion in 2020. The surge in demand is being fuelled by a more people adopting a vegan diet, focus on nutrition and increasing health consciousness.
Wide Open Agriculture also has a commitment to deliver financial returns to its shareholders and investors and 2022 was another year for record setting results.
Total revenue exceeded A$ 9 million, a 115% year-on-year growth. Whilst still not cach flow positive, the company had around $A 19 million of cash at bank at the end of June 2022 is well funded for around 7 subsequent quarters.
The focus for the company in 2022 and beyond will be a diversified commercial model incorporating business to consumer sales and a burgeoning online business plus a business-to-business strategy, such as with the Monde Nissin Australia supply agreement for Buntine Protein.
Wide Open Agriculture’s major partner and shareholder, Commonland Foundation, has been developing a framework since 2013 that unites farmers, landowners, entrepreneurs, communities, nature organisations and legislators in a shared purpose towards profit and purpose.
The framework called “4 Returns” is capable of initiating, organising, and following through on large-scale and long-term restoration initiatives involving ecology, land use and business.
Commonland works with partners in Australia (Wide Open Agriculture), Spain, The Netherlands, India, South Africa, Germany, and Haiti.
An excellent video of Commonland and its 4 returns philosophy can be viewed below.
The Four Returns framework as adopted by Wide Open Agriculture requires returns for Inspiration, social capital, natural capital, and financial capital.
With the strong demand for sustainable and nutritional food, interest in protecting and nurturing the environment, carbon footprint, animal welfare and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it would appear Wide Open Agriculture has a very bright future.
The Company’s shares are traded on Australian Stock Exchange and in Europe on Frankfurt, Tradegate, Stuttgart and Berlin.