With conflict continuing in Ukraine, food awareness organization ProVeg International surveyed European plant-based firms about the impacts of the crisis on plant-based industry.
The report, which surveyed 31 European countries between 1st and 20th April, finds that 61% have seen higher prices for raw ingredients, with the same number reporting supply shortages. In particular, there is a scarcity of sunflower oil as Ukraine is the world’s biggest exporter of sunflower oil.
61% reported higher prices for raw ingredients.
61% reported a shortage of raw ingredients.
64% reported higher energy and transportation costs.
64% reported a lack of availability of transport and truck drivers.
59% thought higher ingredient and energy prices would lead to an increase in product prices.
69% said that it will remain difficult to recruit skilled workers for the sector.
On the flip side, the report also found that plant-based brands are coming together to form closer partnerships to overcome the challenges raised by the conflict. With impacts including rising costs and supply disruptions, plant-based firms are reported to be working in unity with other brands to solve issues: 50% of respondents reported working more closely with other brands, customers, and internal staff, and 61% think that the crisis will accelerate the green energy transition.
ProVeg has suggested three recommendations in light of the ongoing war. Firstly, that the EU continues to implement its sustainable Farm to Fork strategy, with calls for an end to VAT discrimination for alt dairy products coming second. Thirdly, government support for plant-based companies should be provided where needed.
“It’s clear for all of us to see that the war is having a devastating effect on the lives of many people in Ukraine,” stated Stephanie Jaczniakowska-McGirr, International Head of Food Industry and Retail at ProVeg. “The war has also had a major impact on the plant-based sector, which is facing challenges in terms of ingredient supply, although we know that this will affect the food industry as a whole and not just plant-based companies. It is good to see that companies are joining forces to overcome these challenges.”