Politics & Law

A Pivotal Moment: Germany’s €38M Budget for Transition to Plant Proteins – ProVeg Responds

Last week, Dr. Zoe Mayer, an Alliance90/Green Party Member of the German Parliament, who serves on the Committee on Food and Agriculture, announced that the German government has allocated €38 million in its 2024 budget for the promotion of plant-based, precision-fermented, and cell-cultivated proteins.

“The intensive negotiations on the budget have paid off. Our budget holders were able to push through key green demands that represent nothing less than a paradigm shift in the agricultural sector’s funding system. For the first time, a large sum – 38 million euros in 2024 – will be earmarked for the promotion of alternative protein sources and the switch to plant-based agriculture, after decades of focusing primarily on subsidising livestock farming. This is a clear commitment to the protein transition,” revealed Dr Mayer on Friday.

Zoe Mayer of the German Green Party
Zoe Mayer of the German Green Party © Plant Based Treaty

A pivotal moment

Jens Tuider, Strategic Director of ProVeg International, describes this as a pivotal moment in the promotion of alternative protein, saying, “The German government is setting the stage for a transformative shift in protein consumption.

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s 4 step plan and its significance

  1. €8 million to be dedicated to promoting proteins directly for human nutrition instead of animal feed. “This investment signifies a critical step forward. Thanks to this decision, we will finally be able to use proteins effectively in the future,” Tuider said.
  2.  A competence centre focused on future proteins will be established, along with a stakeholder forum on protein sources for human nutrition. “The competence centre will offer young companies an important contact point, ensuring that Germany remains an attractive location for innovation.”
  3. The majority of the funding, amounting to €20 million, is designated to assist in phasing out animal husbandry and transitioning to the production and processing of plant-based, fermented, and cell-cultivated proteins for human consumption. This is “an important signal to farmers that they are an indispensable and valuable part of the future protein supply,” says Tuider.
  4. The remaining €10 million will be directed towards promoting innovative methods for the production and processing of plant-based, fermented, and cell-cultivated proteins.
Lidl announces price parity of own brand Vemondo range
©Lidl Deutschland

Germany is ready for food system change

A recent report, published by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), indicated a significant shift in the dietary habits of Germans, with a steady decline in the daily consumption of meat. In 2015, 34% of respondents reported eating meat daily, whereas only 20% of individuals reported daily meat consumption in 2023.

This is mirrored by an August consumer study by Mintel, which found that only 22% of Germans consume meat in almost every meal, compared to 47% of French consumers and 51% of Brits.

“Germany is following the lead of pioneering nations, such as Denmark, the Netherlands, and the UK, who have made the diversification of protein supply a top priority and are already investing in the expansion of corresponding ecosystems.

“This puts Germany in an excellent position to maximise the opportunities offered by sustainable protein supply – spanning climate and health benefits, generating future-proof employment, and establishing leadership in innovation in a rapidly expanding global market,” Tuider explained.

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