PlantFWD event stage

Plant FWD 2024 by Fitchd, image courtesy Nederland Veganland

What Happens to Society if We Only Eat Plants? A Dutch Thought Experiment

What if we only eat plants? When a scientist and a landscape architect work together on future challenges, you get the project The Vegan Netherlands (Project Nederland Veganland). And they might have solved the housing problem… This guest post has been kindly contributed by landscape architect Berno Strootman, one of the people who researched how The Netherlands could be self-sufficient regarding food. Interestingly, and notably, in this hypothetical utopia, society would actually need more farmers. “According to our calculations, we need twice as many farmers in a fully plant-based system than in the present one,” Strootman explains. This is what happens if we only eat plants By Berno Strootman Suppose: everyone eats plant-based food and the import of animal fodder comes to a halt. How …

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planet boiling in hot water of a pan on the fire of a gas stove conceptual illustration of global warming temperature increase over heating of the world

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BCG Report Finds a 50% Market Share of Alternative Proteins Equivalent to Removing Half of All Gas-Fueled Cars

A new report published today by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), The Good Food Institute (GFI), and Synthesis Capital, titled What the Alternative Protein Industry Can Learn from EV Companies, states that if alternative proteins reached half of the market share of the global protein market, it would reduce agriculture and land use greenhouse gas emissions by almost a third by 2050. This shift would mitigate 5 gigatons of CO2 equivalents annually, the equivalent of removing 50% of gas-fueled cars from the road. “The parallels between the EV and alternative protein industries are striking. Both are disruptive technologies taking on incumbents whose products are rooted in consumer culture and identity. Both are responsible for large slices of global GHG emissions (passenger road transportation for 10%; animal …

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Kokomodo Creates Cultivated Cacao, Preserving Climate-Proof Supplies for the Future of Confectionery

Climate change poses a significant threat to the future supply of cacao (the unprocessed version of cocoa), with the majority of farmland predicted to become unfit for production by 2050. Recent severe weather events have negatively impacted cacao harvests in Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s biggest producers, causing significant shortages and high prices. But Kokomodo, a startup leveraging plant cell technology to “cultivate cocoa’s future” aims to ensure a stable, year-round cacao supply of sustainable premium cocoa. To do so, Kokomodo is developing a platform to produce cacao locally with cells and advanced bioreactors independently from land (deforestation), climate, and tropical regions. The startup, which operates a pilot-scale lab in Israel, not exactly a tropical country with cacao bean plantations, has already developed its first …

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NatWest mobile app

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NatWest Bank Dilutes its Advice on Reducing Animal Product Consumption After Lobbying From Farmers

UK bank NatWest has amended the greenhouse gas tracker in its mobile app following lobbying from the National Farmer’s Union (NFU). The app previously recommended that consumers swap out beef and switch to plant-based milk to reduce their carbon footprint, but these suggestions have now been removed after complaints from the NFU. While the union did not dispute the greenhouse gas emissions associated with meat and dairy consumption, it claimed that other factors such as biodiversity and nutrition should also be considered. However, considerable research indicates that switching away from animal products is beneficial for biodiversity; for example, a report from 2021 found that if everyone in the world switched to a plant-based diet, 75% of cropland could be freed up and potentially returned to …

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100+ Organizations & Experts Call on FAO to Retract Report That “Seriously Distorts” Evidence on Food Emissions

Over 100 organizations and academics have urged the FAO to retract its Pathways Towards Lower Emissions report due to serious methodological errors that downplay the impact of reducing meat and dairy consumption on overall food emissions. The report, which was published at COP28 in December, claims that shifting to diets lower in meat and dairy has limited potential to reduce emissions. Instead, it advocates methods such as the intensification of livestock production, based largely on two papers co-authored by academics Dr Paul Behrens and Dr Matthew Hayek. However, Behrens and Hayek wrote to the FAO in April to express their dismay over the report, which “seriously distorts” their research. They say that due to errors made by the authors, the report “systematically underestimates” the emissions …

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MICROBIOMES4SOY is a new EU-funded Horizon project exploring how microbiomes impact human, soil, and environmental health to accelerate the transition to sustainable food systems.

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Can Microbiomes & Soybeans Revolutionize Plant-Based Diets? EU-Backed Project Set to Find Out

MICROBIOMES4SOY, a new EU-funded Horizon project, will explore how microbiomes impact human, soil, and environmental health to accelerate the transition to sustainable food systems. The project focuses on soybeans as a climate-positive protein source, aiming to improve their resilience and nutritional quality by employing microbiomes in their production and further use in food and feed. During the five years of implementation (2024-2028), the project aims to develop microbiome-based knowledge and awareness, explore the effects of soybeans on the human gut, create microbiome-based solutions, and facilitate healthy soy-enriched diets. Based in Vienna and coordinated by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), MICROBIOMES4SOY gathers expertise from 17 partners from 10 countries, top universities, research centers, and non-profit organizations. This multi-actor approach seeks to leverage expertise in soil, …

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Four cows in a field

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Denmark to Introduce “World’s First” Carbon Tax on Animal Agriculture

Denmark looks set to introduce what is claimed to be the world’s first carbon tax on agriculture, following negotiations between the government, farmer organisations, trade unions, industry, and environmental NGOs. The agreement is expected to be formally approved by the Danish parliament in August, and will see a tax of DKK 300 per tonne CO2e introduced on livestock emissions from 2030. This will rise to DKK 750 per tonne CO2e in 2035, but with a basic deduction of 60%; this means that the effective tax will be DKK 120 (€16) per tonne in 2030 and DKK 300 (€40) per tonne in 2035. The proceeds raised by the tax in 2030-31 will be returned to the industry as a support fund to aid the green transition. …

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Nurturing Sustainability: Cultivating a Brighter Food Future in the UAE

Across the bustling kitchens and vibrant dining spaces of UAE, a silent revolution is under way – one that promises to secure our future of food while safeguarding the planet. As our population grows and environmental challenges loom large, the need for sustainable practices in the F&B industry has never been more pressing. Taking place from 24 – 26 September at Dubai World Trade Centre, Gulfood Green is entirely dedicated to the themes of food security and sustainable food development. The must-attend event will feature exhibitors showcasing innovations in areas like fresh produce, plant-based proteins, and sustainable technologies. Gulfood Green is a champion of food waste reduction and creating a world where quality nutrition is accessible to all.  Sustainable farming is cultivating tomorrow’s harvests At …

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European climate food tech startups raise significant funding

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European Climate FoodTech Raised Over $2Bn in 2023, Surpassing the US for First Time

The annual Food for Climate Report by FoodLabs and Dealroom.co has analysed over 1200 VC-backed, climate-focused food startups across 40 segments, determining the state of the sustainable food and ag-tech ecosystem in Europe. The results show that European climate food tech startups raised over $2 billion in 2023, surpassing the US for the first time. Alternative protein startups raised $365 million; within this, fermentation-based ventures saw a twelvefold funding increase compared to 2020, raising $76 million. In 2024, fermentation startups have already raised $12 million, becoming the third-most-funded segment and surpassing plant-based alternative proteins. This year has also seen an increase in mycelium-based alt proteins. Alternative cocoa startups raised $69 million in 2023, more than twice the sum raised in 2022. Sustainable packaging and biomaterials …

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fish Volcani Institute

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USA: 91% of Seafood Consumers Are Worried About Our Oceans, Many Would Eat More Seafood if it Did No Harm

A survey conducted by GlobeScan on behalf of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has found that 91% of American consumers of seafood are worried about the state of the oceans — up from 82% in 2022. Of the more than 3,700 people surveyed, over 3,100 said they were changing their diets. 34% of this group said they were making the changes for environmental reasons, with health and price also listed as factors. The most significant change was in red meat consumption, which 34% of respondents had cut down on in the past two years. Additionally, 36% were eating more vegetables. 16% of shoppers had increased their fish consumption; however, 19% said they would eat more seafood if they knew it wouldn’t harm the oceans, indicating …

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“Inaccurate and Misleading”: Health Professionals Condemn Meat & Dairy Campaign Backed by UK Government

The Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) has joined forces with Plant-Based Health Professionals UK (PBHP UK) to call out a government-backed campaign promoting meat and dairy consumption. The organisations have sent an open letter to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to highlight their concerns over the Let’s Eat Balanced campaign. Timed to coincide with Veganuary, the campaign advocates consuming meat as a source of protein, zinc, iron, and vitamin B12. But DAUK and PBHP UK say that promoting animal product consumption is “at odds with established scientific evidence on healthy and sustainable diets”, and have called for the campaign to be retracted. The organisations argue that the campaign’s claims are “inaccurate and misleading”, since …

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Green Boy Logo

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 Green Boy’s Impact Report Sheds Light on Food Supply Chain Emissions

To enhance transparency regarding the environmental impact of the food supply chain, Green Boy, a global supplier of plant-based food ingredients, has published a comprehensive overview of the company’s CO2e emissions. “A recent article in the New York Times mentions that some analysts cannot determine whether plant-based meat and dairy alternatives have a lower impact on the environment than their animal-based counterparts, because plant-based food brands do not share their CO2e emission data transparently,” says Green Boy Co-founder and Owner Peter van Dijken. However, to calculate the total emissions of a finished food product, CPG brands need to have access to the emissions data of each ingredient they are using. Peter van Dijken continues: “As an ingredient supplier we want to make it as easy …

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Heather Mills at Vegan Women Summit

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“Woman of the Year” Heather Mills to Call for Plant Based Treaty at Bonn Climate Conference

Vegan entrepreneur and charity campaigner Heather Mills is set to appear at the Bonn Climate Conference in Germany this week to call for a global Plant Based Treaty. Advocates for the treaty will set up a food truck at the entrance to the conference, giving out 2000 free hotdogs donated by Mills and her plant-based food company, VBites. At the conference, Mills will urge world leaders to make policy changes such as shifting subsidies from animal agriculture to the plant-based sector. She will also meet the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to discuss a pathway to 100% plant-based catering at future climate conferences such as COP29. 18,000 people have already signed the Plant Based Treaty’s petition calling for all food served at …

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ProVeg International Granted Observer Status at the Convention on Biological Diversity

Food awareness organization ProVeg International has been granted Observer Status to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a global treaty that aims to conserve biodiversity and promote the sustainable use of biological resources. The organization will now be eligible to participate in CBD meetings, potentially influencing food policies worldwide. The treaty has recognized ProVeg for its work in the field of conservation and biodiversity, which includes promoting evidence-based solutions to make agri-food systems healthier and less resource-intensive. For example, ProVeg supports farmers in cultivating protein-rich crops through the EU-funded Smart Protein Project, and is increasing the amount of plant-based food available in schools through the School Plates program. ProVeg has previously gained Observer Status at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the …

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Bezos Earth Fund Establishes Sustainable Protein Research Center at NC State University

The Bezos Earth Fund has awarded North Carolina State University $30 million over the next five years to establish the first Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein. This project will create a biomanufacturing hub for sustainable dietary proteins that are environmentally friendly, healthy, and affordable. This funding is part of the Earth Fund’s larger $100 million commitment to create a network of open-access research and development centers focused on sustainable protein alternatives to expand consumer choices while addressing environmental concerns. An additional $40 million investment was announced alongside this grant, complementing the previously committed $60 million. The overarching goal is to contribute to the Earth Fund’s $1 billion pledge towards food system transformation. Chancellor Randy Woodson of NC State noted, “As a land-grant university in a …

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a plate with a steak takes center stage, representing the connection between meat consumption and environmental degradation Generative AI

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Meat and Dairy Lobbyists Are Using Fossil Fuel Industry Tactics to Stall Climate Policies

New reports by independent think tank InfluenceMap and The Union of Concerned Scientists have found that meat and dairy lobbyists are weakening climate policies in the EU and the US respectively. The InfluenceMap analysis finds that the European meat and dairy industry is mirroring the tactics of the fossil fuel industry through strategic narrative building and detailed policy engagement. Both sectors have used public messaging to promote misleading narratives, sowing doubt about the necessity of curbing emissions. This is despite the fact that meat and dairy are estimated to be responsible for 85% of Europe’s agricultural emissions. According to InfluenceMap, these tactics have significantly impacted EU climate policymaking; a third of policies included in the report have been seriously weakened and half have stalled altogether …

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Foodsteps automated life cycle assessment tool

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Foodsteps & GFI Launch Automated Life Cycle Assessment Tool for Alt Proteins

Foodsteps, a UK startup helping companies calculate and label their carbon footprint, has partnered with the Good Food Institute to launch an automated life cycle assessment (LCA) tool for alternative protein products. Previously, a lack of robust, standardized data for alternative proteins has made it difficult and expensive for the industry to commission LCAs. But the new tool makes it simple for companies to assess the impact of their products, from agricultural stage to factory gate. The free version of the software measures impact across five areas — greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use, eutrophication, and acidification. A premium version with additional features is also available, allowing businesses to make substantiated, credible claims about the environmental impact of their alternative protein products. If a …

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Oatly and Patagonia mobilise EU citizens to Voat for the Planet

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Oatly & Patagonia Mobilise EU Citizens to Vote for the Planet

Oatly has partnered with outdoor clothing brand Patagonia to mobilise EU citizens to vote in a way that benefits the planet in the upcoming European Parliament elections. The move comes as research indicates that Europe is the fastest-warming continent, with temperatures rising at twice the global rate. The two companies are granting their combined 1000 EU employees — including factory teams, retail staff, regional employees, and more — time off to cast their votes. Educational programs are also being organised to encourage employees to talk about voting within their own networks. Additionally, both businesses are calling for stronger environmental protections, and for the EU to deliver on its green commitments in the next mandate. They are also working to engage their communities across Europe regarding …

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Good Eating Company Slashes Emissions, Offering Oat Milk by Default at Many Foodservice Locations

Good Eating Company US, a foodservice provider for corporate and academic settings, has partnered with Greener by Default to reduce its environmental impact by offering more plant-based options. One significant change made as part of the partnership is to offer oat milk as the default option at some outlets. This has decreased cow’s milk consumption from 70% to 18% at one site, halving the carbon footprint of the client’s dairy purchases. At another site, plant-based milk now makes up 60% of total milk purchases. Meanwhile, a university coffee shop saw a 32% reduction in dairy use after defaulting to oat milk, reducing carbon emissions and land and water use by 25%. Through this strategy, Good Eating Company aims to normalize low-carbon choices while being more …

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cocuus' 3d printed meat loin on top o a wooden board

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Alternative Proteins Could Displace Two Thirds of Meat & Dairy Consumed in Europe by 2050

A new report by UK environmental charity and think tank Green Alliance has found that the alternative protein industry could be key to significantly reducing land use in ten European countries — Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The report finds that there is not enough land on the planet for current animal product consumption patterns to continue without a hugely detrimental environmental impact. However, alternative proteins could provide the taste of meat and dairy with significantly reduced land use, particularly as technologies like precision fermentation and cultivated meat make alt proteins increasingly indistinguishable from their animal counterparts. Reduced reliance on overseas land Green Alliance estimates that under a high innovation scenario, alternative proteins could displace around two-thirds …

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