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A Community Win: European Union Commits €50 Million to Boost Alternative Proteins

Our “Fund future food” campaign calling on the European Commission to start investing in the rapidly expanding alternative protein sector has scored a big win. 


People wearing cow head masks in an action outside EU Parliament. Headline reads - Serious Business Cows back government moonshot investment in Alt Proteins
Fund Future Food campaign launch, September 2023

The EU will fund ground-breaking European startups to scale up one of the most exciting technologies of the new century – animal free proteins. The EU will invest €50 million to help scale up the rapidly expanding European precision fermentation sector. 


Our Reboot Food campaign has been right at forefront of campaigning to persuade the European Commission to make this kind of investment in Europe’s food future.  


Our open letter led with some of the most illustrious names in science, politics and business putting their names to the demand the EU leaps into the future to build this industry of tomorrow – today. From Nobel prize laureates to Club of Rome members, the open letter, published in some of Europe’s leading newspapers like El Pais, and Tagsblad was a clarion call for the European Commission to seize the opportunities that precision fermentation offers.  


Europe is lagging far behind countries like China, the USA and Israel in making far-sighted strategic investments in this incredible emerging technology. Precision fermentation will revolutionise food production creating like-for-like meat and animal proteins that taste the same as their farmed equivalents, while dramatically reducing scarce productive land, and climate harming emissions from agriculture. [1] 


Precision fermentation is one of the most promising alternative protein technologies. It harnesses the power of microbes to produce practically identical proteins found in meat, cheese, milk and any animal products. The outcome is food that tastes like, smells like, and feels like the meat, cheese and dairy products we know today. 



The process is so promising that we can start to imagine a future where we produce meat and dairy products cheaply, quickly and without swathes of land turned over to animal agriculture. 


But there's a big – BUT. 


The EU’s investment remains a fraction of what the industry estimate it needs if it is to compete against front-runners in Israel, the USA and China. We should mark this significant moment, but our campaign has more work to do.  Now, with the Commission's attention firmly on our cause, it's time for us to turn up the pressure. We must continue to advocate for additional funding to propel the alternative protein sector forward. This is not just a financial investment; it's a commitment to a healthier, more sustainable future for us and generations to come. 


Our community's dedication and persistence have brought us to this moment, and together, we have the potential to drive real change. Let's use this win as a springboard for further victories, pushing for increased funding, innovative solutions, and a shift towards a healthier and more sustainable food system. 


We’re going to need to double-down and be ready to spring into action to keep pushing the need for continued investment by the EU, its member states and governments around the world. The opportunities are too great, and the cost of failure too high. 


The European Commission has taken the first step on the road to truly sustainable food and that is in no small part thanks to the efforts of ordinary supporters, volunteers, our resident scientists and technologists, and funders.  

 

References: 

[1] Reboot Food Report Join the call for the EU to invest in alternative proteins.


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