Air New Zealand First to Offer Plant-Based Impossible Burger

The Impossible Burger

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National Party MP Nathan Guy tweeted that it was "disappointing" to see the airline promoting genetically engineered meat when "we produce the most delicious steaks (and) lamb on the planet".

New Zealand First primary industries spokesperson Mark Patterson issued a press release warning that the veggie burger could pose "an existential threat to New Zealand's second biggest export earner" and was a "slap in the face" for the NZ$9bn red meat sector.

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters said he would not eat a burger with lab-made meat, particularly if there's one with the real thing available.

A vegan burger that "bleeds" has been labelled an "existential threat" to New Zealand's beef industry by politicians. Its acceptance by the market has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax.

Air New Zealand has teamed up with Silicon Valley start-up Impossible Foods to serve the burger to premium customers. They pulled out of the regions, which I don't agree with.

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"Air New Zealand is an airline that was built by the New Zealand taxpayer, that was privatised, was bailed out by the New Zealand taxpayer, is there because of the New Zealand taxpayer".

For more information about Air New Zealand visit www.airnewzealand.com and for more information about Star Alliance visit www.staralliance.com and/or follow Star Alliance on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn or Instagram. It's now in 2500 restaurants across the US.

In Hong Kong, where several of the project's key investors are located, Impossible's signature meat can be found in dumplings, bao and, of course, burgers.

In a statement the airline said it's offered beef or lamb burgers on that same menu since 2011, serving enough to feed the equivalent of every resident in Christchurch and Hamilton during that time.

The airline prompted a storm of controversy when it announced the Impossible Burger, a veggie burger made from synthetic meat, would be offered to business-class passengers on its Los Angeles to Auckland route.

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"In the past year alone, we proudly served around 1.3m New Zealand sourced beef and lamb meals to customers from around the world".

"If I was a farmer working day and night, with millions of dollars invested and up to my eyes in debt, [or] just dealing with the situation, I'd actually be pretty upset and I actually would feel very much let down by our national carrier".

Impossible Foods has already begun researching the possibilities for their own meat-free chicken, pork, fish, eggs and milk, but we'll probably have to wait a few more years before trying those.

"The national carrier should be pushing our premium products".

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor has a different view on the matter entirely.

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"Customers will ultimately make the decision as to whether they like this burger".

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