Member Highlight: The Lupin Co.

To learn more about The Lupin Co., we asked David Fienberg, Managing Director & Chief Lupinologist, some questions.

What is the name of your company? 

The Lupin Co

When and why did you start your company? 

  • We started in 2016 with the aim to take Australian Sweet Lupin as flake and flour ingredient to the global community.
  • We felt that the plant-based consumer market was expanding at a dramatic rate and when combined with the many environmental advantages of growing lupin, together with the amazing health benefits of eating this high protein (40%), low carb (4%) food, the benefits would flow in both directions – to the consumer and to the farmers/environment


,In 3 sentences or less, can you tell us about the work your company is doing and why it is important?

  • We grow, store and prepared our own Australian Sweet Lupins in a vertically integrated model with over 110,000 acres of beautiful farming land with our own factory in sunny Western Australian – single origin lupins
  • Production of our lupin flour and flakes is a dry process (clean label), at ambient air conditions and we globally market (yes the US too) these as ingredients and also combined with other amazing ingredients for our retail brand – The Lupin Co
  • Our focus on Australian Sweet lupin as a sustainable protein source is the central point of our business strategy (see our paper on this), where every day we work hard to take small steps closer to a world which can use our healthy foods, served to a responsive market which recognizes many of the same values as we do – eg. sustainable, clean label, GMO and gluten free, high protein, low carbs.


What do you think others should be aware of with regards to the work your company is doing?

  • We have developed a unique range of lupin-based products which are able to be easily integrated into the needs of so many consumer profiles across every meal occasion, and including beverage.
  • Our focus on the UN sustainable Development Goals help us with every decision we make when considering how to position a product which has the highest combination of protein (40%) and non-digestible fibre (38%) in the world (and which tastes neutral = versatility).
  • We are a Company which is easy to connect with and we take great pride and passion in the high level of service we provide to our many global customers.

How have the current circumstances of the world changed your business plan?

  • Current travel restrictions have dramatically affected our marketing plans. We have intended to be at many expo’s to demonstrate our lupin products however this has been stifled almost entirely, even with virtual presentation to a vastly smaller number of customers
  • It has helped our thinking of the types of ready-to-eat products we need to develop which best serve the need of the majority of future customers

Do you have any exciting news or launches occurring this year?

  • We have developed an exciting range of ready-to-eat foods and now need partnerships to help us to take this to the US market. Specifically our work in the pasta market with very high levels of ‘natural’ protein and low levels of carbohydrate are particularly exciting considering this category has largely been unchanged for such a long time.
  • Our advanced development work in super high protein products at 95%+ (not your typical protein isolate) is really exciting as this helps us with highly accurate metering of protein for use in a very wide array of food manufacturing.

What is one thing you wish you knew as you began your work that you think is important for othersworking in this industry to know?

To take larger steps early into ready-to-eat foods which are clean-label, GMO-free, and highly nutritious

    Where can others find you online?


    Social Media: #thelupinco

    Member Highlight: Proterra Partners

    To learn more about Proterra Partners, we asked their team some questions.

    What is the name of your company? 

    Proterra Partners

    In 3 sentences (or less) tell us about Proterra Investment Partners.

    Proterra Investment Partners is an alternative investment manager focused on private capital investments in the natural resources sectors of agriculture, food, and metals and mining with over $3 billion in assets under management. 

    Our fund investments reflect fundamental perspectives on the macro- and micro-economic trends driving the markets in which we invest. Through an emphasis on strong local relationships and expertise, Proterra seeks to provide unique opportunities for investors.

    When and why was Proterra Partners founded?

    We originally came together as a group of investment professionals when we were working for Black River Asset Management, which was a wholly-owned, independently managed subsidiary of Cargill, Inc.  Most of our senior leadership team has worked together since 2007.  Proterra launched on January 1, 2016, when it completed a spin out from Black River Asset Management.  We basically lifted the private equity business out of Black River and took all the employees and funds associated with those strategies with us, so it was primarily a change in ownership rather than a change in strategy.

    How has the current circumstances of the world, changed your business plan?

    Our business plan hasn’t changed much over the years.  Most of Proterra’s funds are long-dated private investment vehicles (10+ years) that take a very long-term view on the core natural resource sectors of Food, Ag and Metals and Mining.  We believe the fundamental tailwinds of population growth, urbanization, and rising GDP will continue to drive global demand for safe, high quality, sustainable food production and our funds are well positioned to support these trends.

    That said, the rise of social media platforms and increased consumer awareness around food and food production has definitely accelerated certain consumption trends.  Consumers care about where their food comes from and care about the impact that food production has on people and the planet.  This has led to many new food companies and concepts and a dramatic increase in the need for capital to support these companies.  Proterra has responded to these trends by launching new funds targeting themes such as sustainability and vegetable proteins.

    Our firm also has a longstanding commitment to monitoring and improving ESG practices in its portfolio companies.  We have been heartened to see this trend grow in importance in the broader investment community in recent years.

    Your company has shown a passion for natural resource investing, tell us more about that.

    Our passion for natural resource investing stems from our time working for Cargill.  It was a wonderful place to learn about the global nature of natural resource supply chains and to understand how inefficient many of those supply chains actually are.  Addressing that inefficiency continues to drive our investment strategies and has allowed us to help feed the world.  It’s an incredibly rewarding pursuit and fun to be able to do well and to do good at the same time!

    Do you have any exciting news occurring this year?

    Without a doubt the most exciting news for the year will be the day everyone is able to be vaccinated and has the opportunity to once again get together with family, friends and co-workers!