hands holding soy on a farm

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PBFA Submits Recommendations to USDA on Strengthening Specialty Crops

The Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) and the Plant Based Foods Institute (PBFI) have recently submitted comments in response to the USDA’s request for information on the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Initiative (SCCI). This initiative aims to strengthen the agricultural production of key ingredients for plant-based foods, reflecting the USDA’s increased efforts to support the specialty crops sector and improve the competitiveness of its products. Objectives of the SCCI The SCCI is designed to enhance research, market development, and support for farmers in the specialty crops industry, which includes most fruit, nut, and vegetable crops, as well as pulses like dry peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas. The initiative focuses on administrative improvements to maximize the impact of existing Farm Bill programs, addressing challenges related to climate …

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Sheep grazing in Wales

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Head of WWF in Wales Warns of the “Inevitable Demise” of Welsh Animal Agriculture

Gareth Clubb, director of WWF Cymru, the Welsh arm of the environmental organization WWF, has written a blog post in the Welsh language under his social media name Naturiaethwr to warn the region’s farmers of the reality of the Welsh livestock industry: rising costs from energy to veterinary expenses, climate change, and declining consumer demand for animal meat. Clubb argues that people in the UK are reducing their meat and dairy consumption for health, ethical, and environmental reasons. This change in eating patterns threatens the country’s animal farming industry, particularly in Wales, where more than 90% of the land is dedicated to sheep and cattle farming. He highlights that 58% of the population has taken steps to reduce or stop eating meat, although some people are …

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female farmer spraying veg

Image courtesy of ProVeg International

PETA Study Reveals Transformative Power of Animal-Free Agriculture with Potential to Cut 84% of Emissions

A new PETA study entitled Rethinking Agriculture, authored by Prof Jan Wirsam of the Berlin University of Applied Sciences, showcases the transformative potential of animal-free agriculture. It argues that adopting vegan organic farming could revolutionize our agricultural systems. The research highlights an impressive potential to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 84%, reducing them to 6.1 million tonnes annually. Moreover, the need for agricultural land could dramatically decrease from 14 million hectares to just 5 million hectares by eliminating animal feed production. The study provides a detailed analysis of how vegan organic farming can transform the entire agricultural and food system, focusing on global warming reduction, biodiversity protection, and increased efficiency in using natural resources, while also reducing animal suffering. It offers actionable recommendations …

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Stuart McAlpine Lupin Crop, WOA

Stuart McAlpine with Lupin Crop © WOA

WOA Pioneers Novel Lupin Fiber, a By-Product of Lupin Powder, Marking “Significant Stride” for Food Industry

Wide Open Agriculture announces it has successfully developed a groundbreaking lupin fiber, characterized by a smooth texture, solubility, and neutral taste, which is ready for commercialization. The anticipated market introduction of this lupin fiber is poised to enhance revenues and profit margins of the company’s production operations in Germany as it transforms what was previously considered a waste by-product into a lucrative revenue source. In collaboration with Curtin University, Wide Open Agriculture has also pioneered the creation of Buntine Protein® powder, a world-first innovation derived from lupins, and holds the exclusive, globally protected patent for this product. The lupin fiber in question emerges as a secondary by-product of Buntine Protein production. Notably, both the lupin fiber and Buntine Protein® boast solubility and are capable of …

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Tractor ploughing field Proveg NFH

Image courtesy of ProVeg International

Supporting Farmers with New Opportunities in Sustainable Food Production

Globally, consumer food preferences are undergoing a significant shift. Recent years have seen exponential interest in sustainable alternative proteins – including plant-based, fermentation-enabled, and cultivated. Across Europe, an impressive 40% of consumers now identify as flexitarian, pescetarian, vegetarian, or vegan, and are actively reducing their consumption of animal-based products.[1] In terms of industry growth, the alternative protein market is estimated to reach USD 30 billion by 2030, expanding at an impressive CAGR of 10.4% between 2024-2030.[2] In contrast, traditional animal agriculture is facing several challenges: economic pressures from increasing intensification and consolidation,[1] climate change, and reduced consumer demand for conventional animal-based products. Opportunities for farmers in the alternative protein industry are abundant and diverse, reflecting the growing demand for sustainable food options and innovation in …

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soybean field, agricultural landscape

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Report: Alternative Proteins Could Significantly Impact Farming in New Zealand

A report published as part of the Protein Futures NZ project (funded through the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge) has found that alternative proteins could have a significant impact on farming in New Zealand. The report outlines four alternative protein scenarios: Demand for alt proteins continues to increase but does not significantly affect animal protein supply chains. Growth is slow due to technical barriers. This scenario is described as unlikely due to the current level of innovation, interest, and investment in the sector. Demand for alt proteins continues and precision fermentation takes off. Consumer acceptance is driven by sustainability concerns. However, the development of cultivated products is stalled due to technical barriers. Plant-based products take off, and some of the barriers facing cultivated …

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Members of the Board of Management of BayWa AG

© Baywa AG

BayWa, Bindewald and Gutting Mühlengruppe and MULTIVAC Establish AgriFoodTech Venture Alliance

BayWa Venture GmbH, the processing and packaging machine experts MULTIVAC, and Bindewald + Gutting Mühlengruppe are jointly investing around 20 million euros in AgriFoodTech startups. The alliance builds on BayWa Venture GmbH’s efforts, a BayWa AG subsidiary, known for investing in twelve promising AgriFoodTech startups in the last three years aimed at enhancing sustainability in the food sector’s value chain. The AgriFoodTech Venture Alliance’s investment focus spans multiple areas: AgTech / BioTech: Enhancing food production’s efficiency and sustainability. FoodTech: Innovative uses of plant proteins in nutrition, along with advancements in healthy eating and food safety. Circular Economy: Upcycling by-products, minimizing food waste, and promoting biodegradable and recyclable materials. Automation & Digitalization: Increasing transparency in the agri-food supply chain, utilizing robotics, AI, and predictive analytics for …

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Source Agriculture

© Source Agriculture

Vegan-Friendly Farmland: Source Agriculture Introduces Sustainable Farmland Investment Opportunities

Source Agriculture, a US farmland investor, is offering a new avenue for green investing, presenting opportunities in vegan-friendly and sustainable farmland. The company recently announced its plans to file a Regulation A offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This step will qualify the company for a capital raise of up to $75 million, positioning it to meet its goal of becoming America’s largest farmland investment entity. Once qualified by the SEC, Source Agriculture will be able to receive investments from both accredited and non-accredited investors, providing a pathway for investors to access real estate income without the significant capital typically required to own farmland, through fractionalized ownership. Source Agriculture isn’t solely focusing on farmland investments; it is actively exploring the intersection of agriculture, …

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Louis Dreyfus Company pea protein plant

© Louis Dreyfus Company

New Pea Production Facility in Canada Set to Boost North American Pea Protein Supply

The Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), a multinational agriculture and food processing company, has announced plans to establish a pea protein isolate production plant within its industrial complex in Saskatchewan, Canada complex. The new facility aims to enhance the company’s Plant Proteins business line, catering to the rising demand for sustainable, plant-based protein alternatives. Michael Gelchie, CEO of LDC, noted that the production plant is a pivotal element of the company’s North American growth strategy, which includes other industrial centers in Claypool, Indiana, and Upper Sandusky, Ohio, in the US. Gelchie commented, “Like other key development projects for LDC in North America, the investment announced today is an important step in the Group’s global growth strategy, as part of our plans to diversify revenue through value-added …

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Biocyclic Vegan International

Axel Anders. Photo Credits: Biocyclic Vegan International

Op Ed: Axel Anders, Co-Founder, Biocyclic Vegan International, Says Vegan Products Are Not Equally Sustainable

Axel Anders is co-founder and member of the Board of Directors at Biocyclic Vegan International, which works to promote cycle-based organic farming without the use of commercial livestock, animal slaughter, fertilisers, or animal inputs. The association raises awareness of the advantages of organic vegan farming and helps farms to convert. It also aids research projects on the increase of soil fertility through the use of biocyclic vegan methods. Biocyclic vegan − an opportunity for the organic food sector By Axel Anders The market for vegan products is booming. Young people, in particular, are increasingly opting for a responsible, plant-based lifestyle for reasons of sustainability and animal ethics. An absolutely positive development! However, it is worth taking a closer look to realise that vegan products are …

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plantrecote raw version ME-AT

Plantrecote raw version © ME-AT

Vion Food Group Sells Slaughterhouses, Pre-Packing Meat Facility, and Ham Brand in Germany to Address Market Challenges

The Netherlands-based Vion Food Group, a global player in the meat and plant-based alternatives industry, has announced downsizing measures for its German portfolio in 2024.  As part of these changes, Vion has agreed to sell key facilities, including its beef slaughterhouse and pre-packing facility in Altenburg, as well as the ham specialist Ahlener Fleischhandel, to Tönnies Group. Uhlen GmbH will also acquire the company’s pig slaughterhouse in Perleberg. In addition, Vion will close its Emstek pig facility by the end of March 2024 after waiting to receive acceptable offers from potential buyers. As reported by the firm, the broader European meat industry, with Germany at its core, faces intense global competition from the USA, South America, and China. These challenges have been further exacerbated by the outbreak …

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Two brown cows/ cattle

© Mosa Meat

EU Climate Advisers Recommend Shifting Subsidies Away From Animal Ag & Encouraging Plant-Based Diets

The European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change has released a report outlining several recommendations for addressing the climate crisis, including shifting subsidies away from animal agriculture. The authors say that the common agricultural policy (CAP) “should be better aligned with EU goals”. This could include “shifting CAP support away from emission-intensive agricultural practices, including livestock production”, instead prioritising lower-emissions products and other environmental policies. Furthermore, the report recommends measures to “encourage healthier, more plant-based diets”, along with other strategies to aid the transition towards a climate-neutral food system. For example, emissions pricing should be extended to the agricultural and food sectors, making high-emission foods more expensive and therefore discouraging their purchase. Other agricultural recommendations include a standalone emissions reduction objective and practices that reduce …

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Soy bean, tofu and other soy products

Image supplied by ADM

Europe: ADM Announces First Traceable Soybean Shipments from US and Broadens Regenerative Agriculture Initiative 

ADM (NYSE: ADM) has announced the successful shipment of traceable soybeans from the US to Europe. The expansion comes in anticipation of new EU regulations that will take effect at the end of the year, prohibiting imports of soybeans from deforested land, says the company. ADM’s first traceable soybean pilot program delivered 2.4 million bushels (64,000 metric tons) of soybeans in 2023. This successful yield has prompted ADM to expand these capabilities to other key locations across North America for the 2024 growing season.  Last year, the agricultural processing giant acquired Prairie Pulse Inc., a locally operated pulse crop processor in Saskatchewan, Canada , that purchases directly from farmers. The traceable soybean program is an extension of ADM’s International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) certified bean …

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Cabbage Hill animal-free fertilizer

Erin Riley. © Cabbage Hill Fertilizer

Cabbage Hill Develops Animal-Free Fertilizer to “Get the Crap Out of Gardening”

Cabbage Hill Fertilizer is a US company producing organic, animal-free fertilizers, with the aim of promoting soil health, composting, community gardening, and food justice. Cabbage Hill was founded by Erin Riley, who previously started an edible landscaping company in 2009. After beginning to mix her own fertilizer blends, Riley began to question where the animal inputs came from. She discovered that the components of organic fertilizer often originate from slaughtered animals, meaning that “vegetables aren’t vegan”. Furthermore, these components may be declared “certified organic” even though their origins are often unregulated. In response, Riley decided to develop a range of animal-free fertilizers. The products are made from plant-based agriculture by-products like soy, corn, seaweed, and alfalfa, along with minerals such as rock phosphate and sulfate …

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New study uncovers UK Farmers' mixed views on cultivated meat

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Game-Changing or Problematic? Study Uncovers Wide Range of Opinions from UK Farmers on Cultivated Meat

The first phase of a project investigating the views of farmers in the UK on cultivated meat led by teams from the University of Lincoln and Royal Agricultural University (RAU) has revealed complex opinions on the topic. Encouragingly, the study concludes that many farmers see potential opportunities in cultivated meat as a “game-changing technology” that can create cheaper meat products for populations with limited access to protein and may benefit arable farming more than livestock farming. The project is part of a two-year study, Cultured Meat & Farmers, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in the Transforming Food Systems Programme and led by the Royal Agricultural University (RAU). Complex views on the technology The research engaged 75 UK farmers across various …

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QuornPro staff at Biohub

QuornPro's staff at Biohub - Image courtesy of Biohub at Ings Farm

UK’s Biohub Regenerative Farm Celebrates First Year with Continued Support from QuornPro and Levy UK

UK’s Biohub at Ings Farm, a regenerative farm in North Yorkshire that educates chefs and farmers on sustainable farming practices, is marking its 1st anniversary with long-term support commitments from sponsors QuornPro (previously Quorn Professionals), the food service division of the meat-free brand, and Levy UK + Ireland, leading sports and entertainment caterers. In the last 12 months, over 800 people have visited the farm and participated in regenerative farming activities designed, developed, and showcased on a 92-acre plot intentionally left ungrazed to recover the soil’s fertility, explained the Biohub in a statement. The Biohub has been developed by RegenFarmCo, a specialist regenerative agriculture consultancy founded by Vincent Walsh, supported by Yorkshire Water, the second-largest landowner in Yorkshire. Regenerative interventions QuornPro has used the farm to educate and …

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It's Bio gardeners with bee graphic

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The European Project ‘It’s Bio’ in Dialogue with Roberto Pinton: “Organic Agriculture Provides Public Goods”

Roberto Pinton, internationally renowned organic expert and two-time member of the IFOAM executive, talks about the role of organic beyond simple food production. Giving value to sustainable production, boosting consumption, investing for a greener world, and promoting agriculture capable of reducing the impact on the climate are some of the fundamental issues that concern the future of our planet as put forward at COP28. It’s Bio is a project financed by the European Union and Aop Gruppo Vi.Va and intended for consumers in Italy, Belgium, and Greece, with participating companies Almaverde Bio, Apofruit, Codma OP, Ca’ Nova, Coop Sole, AOP La Mongolfiera, OrtoRomi and OP Terre di Bari. “Organic agriculture provides public goods: it is the only production sector that has this role officially recognised: …

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Tony Martens of Plantible

Tony Martens of Plantible

Plantible: “We Are Talking About a New Form of Farming That Has Never Been Seen on a Commercial Scale”

San Diego-based Plantible Foods uses a leafy green aquatic plant called lemna to produce the nutrient-dense complete protein RuBisCo, also known as Rubi Protein. Requiring ten times less water than soybeans and almost 100 times less than beef, lemna is incredibly sustainable. The plant is grown on aqua farms, meaning it requires no arable land, and takes in ten times more CO2 than a healthy forest. Plantible raised $21.5 million in 2021, taking its total funding to $27 million. Since then, the company has continued to develop new products made with Rubi Protein, launching the egg replacer Rubi Whisk in June of this year. The product can be used in baked goods, gluten-free products, pasta, and other applications. This October, Plantible and its collaborator ICL …

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Mung beans in a bowl

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Mung Beans in the Meat-Loving State: Texas Explores Mung Bean Cultivation for Plant-Based Foods

Texas A&M AgriLife Research, in collaboration with AgriVentis Technologies, is exploring the adaptability of mung beans in Texas, a state known for its substantial meat production and consumption. The initiative, led by Dr. Waltram Ravelombola, an organic and specialty crop breeder, involves conducting variety trials across Texas to find suitable mung bean varieties that thrive in the state’s diverse climates. Mung beans, primarily grown in small acreages in Texas, Oklahoma, and California, have garnered interest due to their health and environmental benefits, along with their various applications in plant-based protein products. They are a high-quality protein source and also contribute positively to crop rotation and soil health. The majority of mung bean crops are currently grown in South Asian countries, including India, China, Myanmar, and Indonesia. …

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INTACT, a French company specializing in plant-based ingredients from regenerative agriculture, has begun constructing a new facility in Baule, the Loiret region of the country.

© INTACT

France’s INTACT Breaks Ground on Low Carbon Facility to Produce Legume Proteins for Plant-Based Foods

INTACT, a French company specializing in vegetable proteins from regenerative agriculture legumes, has begun constructing a new low-carbon facility in Baule, in the Loiret region of the country. The new plant will transform peas and other legumes into plant proteins for plant-based foods, neutral alcohol, and biomass for heating using an innovative fermentation technology. Marc Fesneau, the French Minister for Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, was present at the ceremony, signaling the growing interest and investment in plant-based agriculture in France. Fesneau said that the company’s commitment to ecological agriculture aligns with France’s ambition to double the area dedicated to legume production by 2030, reports ActuOrléans. The strategic location of the Baule facility, within an agricultural hub and supported by Axereal, will propel the development of …

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