The European Commission has released its Farm to Fork Strategy, the flagship initiative under the new European Green Deal, outlining financial support of at least €100 billion over the period 2021-2027 for the green transition, and pledging to make alternative proteins a cornerstone of its research agenda as part of the green transition.
The Farm-to-Fork Strategy states that for the EUR 10 billion proposed to be spent on the bioeconomy and food, a key area of research will be “increasing the availability and source of alternative proteins such as plant, microbial, marine and insect-based proteins and meat substitutes”.
The GFI Europe today welcomes the news. GFI Europe Policy Manager, Alexander Holst, said: “This is a major step forward. Alternative proteins, such as plant-based and cultivated meat, play a critical role in Europe’s transition to a more sustainable, healthy and just food system.
“They also represent a major commercial opportunity for Europe to implement a truly green recovery from the Covid-19 recession. We warmly welcome the Commission’s wise endorsement of the need for greater R&D investment into alternative proteins.”
Today the Commission outlines in its Farm-to-Fork Strategy that animal agriculture is a major contributor to climate change, causing nearly 70% of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. The GFI, along with its partners, has long made the case for making public investments in alternative proteins a priority in the EU, so this has been received as excellent news in terms of progress towards true sustainability.
The reform of the Common Agricultural Policy that is currently being negotiated provides the next opportunity for the EU to put its endorsement for alternative proteins into action. “If the EU is serious about shifting to more plant-based food and other alternative proteins, the European Parliament needs to scrap harmful proposals that would ban names like ‘veggie burger’ or ‘plant-based steak’ for alternatives to conventional meat,” said Holst.