By Stef Bottinelli
Horizon Europe, a European Union funding programme, is allocating a €32M fund into the research of alternative proteins such as plant-based, fermented and cultivated meat.
The programme is part of the EU’s Farm to Fork project, which seeks to improve the European agriculture sector and tackle climate change.
The research fund will be split into three different projects.
€12M will be allocated to research into alternative protein options, such as plant-based, to ensure that affordable non animal derived meat and dairy is available to consumers.
€11M will go into the research of the environmental, health and sustainability impact of alternative proteins, such as plant-based, fermented and cultivated meats.
€9M will be invested into increasing protein crop production, improving food security and facilitating best-practice in farming.
Part of Horizon Europe’s €14.7 billion programme for a “healthier, greener and more digital Europe”, the research fund was launched following an open letter sent to the European Commission. NGOs such as ProVeg, The Good Food Institute, The World Animal Protection and companies such as Oatly, Upfield, Heura Foods, Nestlé and Beyond Meat, signed the letter after founding the European Alliance for Plant-based Foods (EAPF) last September. The EAPF aims to work with the European Commission to move towards a more sustainable food system that ‘is good for the people and is good for the planet’.
“European consumer preferences for healthier and more sustainable diets have substantially increased the demand for plant-based foods across member countries.”, said Verena Wiederkehr, International Head of Food Industry & Retail at ProVeg International in September. “The EAPF supports this positive development and advocates for better regulations for plant-based food products, making it easier for consumers to choose healthy and sustainable foods. ProVeg is proud to play an active role in the alliance. It directly connects our corporate partners and consumer networks to policy and communications efforts at an EU level. It is a win-win-win scenario for people, the planet, and plant-based food producers”.
Information on how to apply to the research fund can be found on Horizon Europe.