Several European countries are investing in the promotion and development of a plant-based and other alternative protein-based food diet.
In Denmark, for example, the government has published an action plan that should help the country move towards more plant-based food and stimulate the production of plant proteins. Amongst others, the plan includes a fund in the amount of 178 million Euro for the plant-based transition until 2030.
The government’s document aligns with both the Danish dietary guidelines and the New Nordic Nutrition Recommendation, which recall the need to reduce meat consumption, and increase plant-protein to achieve health gains across Nordic populations. Traditionally, the Danish cuisine does not rely on plant-protein rich ingredients as it is for Southern European countries.
The German government is also investing in alternative proteins. In 2024, it will dedicate 30 million Euro to the promotion of precision-fermented, plant-based, and cultivated meat and dairy alternatives. That includes the set-up of ‘competence centres’ in which experts are to provide consultation in specific fields. Part of the funding is dedicated to finding the best new and innovative methods for the production and processing of these kinds of plant-based proteins. Two thirds of the investment go to phasing out animal husbandry.
2023 was a record-breaking year for research funding in alternative proteins in the UK, a strong indication that its government increasingly recognizes the importance of alternative proteins to achieving the ambitions for food security, economic growth, and net zero. It launched, amongst others, an innovation hub to boost research into alternative proteins.
In the Netherlands, one of the pioneering countries in this field, the government has been supporting projects around cellular agriculture, cultivated meat from cells and animal-free dairy. The Finnish food industry is working on the development of new plant protein value chains. A new association called Plant Based Food Finland brings together large retailers like Lidl, Kesko and SOK as well as producers and other companies and organizations. The purpose of the association is to increase the share of plant-based food in Finland.