EIT Food introduces policy brief on protein diversification

4 Dec 2023

The EU-supported food community EIT Food has released recommendations on protein diversification to advance progress and spur production and consumption changes.

EIT Food, supported by the European Union’s (EU) European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), has released its policy brief, Accelerating Protein Diversification for Europe. It sets out a series of policy recommendations to support new ways for manufacturers to develop protein and for consumers to eat it.

EIT Food introduces policy brief on protein diversification
Pictured: Various vegan products | © iStock/Liudmila Chernetska

The policy brief urges the European food sector to implement a systems-thinking approach to diversify protein sources and transform global food systems to be healthier and more sustainable. EIT Food’s overall consensus is that protein diversification needs to be a pillar of food strategies in the future to ensure Europe’s systems can feed the growing population while protecting against the detrimental impacts of food production.

Launched at EIT Food’s Future of Food Conference in Brussels, the food community hopes its policy brief will inspire lawmakers to transform Europe’s food systems by placing protein diversification as a core priority.

Securing Europe’s food systems

Calls for a European policy on protein diversification come after the sector highlights the prominent position protein production and consumption have within Europe’s food system.

Protein, which has amassed significant attention from the plant-based segment, spans multiple areas within the food industry, from nutrition and public health to agricultural emissions and food security concerns, EIT Food states.

“Protein diversification has a central role to play in transforming food systems at the scale needed to bring down climate emissions and increase resilience while creating new opportunities,” Acacia Smith, vice president of the EIT Food Protein Diversification Think Tank and senior policy manager at the Good Food Institute (GFI) Europe told Ingredients Network.

By transitioning away from these animal-based products, the industry can introduce more plant-based, cultivated, precision fermented, algae-based and insect-based alternative protein sources into the European manufacturing environment and encourage startups to explore and advance these protein areas.

The policy brief indicates that joint discussions and efforts between leaders and their respective governments are key. “This collaborative effort confirms the important role of European Union (EU) governments in driving change—from research and investment (R&I) funding to enabling policy frameworks, to support for farmers,” adds Smith.

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