European Commission predicts the future: it’s going to be more plant-based


The annual EU Agricultural Outlook up to 2035 predicts a steady shift towards more plant-rich diets


Beef and pork consumption will continue to fall and plant-based foods will continue to rise over the next 12 years, according to the latest “Agricultural Outlook” published by the European Commission.

The Commission’s annual report, predicting developments up to 2035, states that consumer concerns about the impact of their diets are expected to contribute to lower meat consumption, especially of beef and pigmeat.

At the same time, the report outlines that the consumption of some plant proteins could grow, such as pulses as consumers opt for alternatives.

“The European Commission’s EU Agricultural Outlook recognizes that consumers are leading the way on food transformation,” Lucia Hortelano, EU Senior Policy Manager at ProVeg International, said today.

“So we call on the Commission to rally behind the consumer and support further research into plant-based diets, encourage more public procurement of plant-based foods, such as in schools and hospitals, and channel funding into promoting plant-based alternatives as a viable solution for a transition towards more sustainable food systems,” Hortelano said.

The report notes the following:

  • Production of pulses and soy beans will increase in the EU, supported by EU policies favoring protein crops, crop rotation and increasing needs for plant proteins. This is likely to lead to an overall reduction in imports of oilseeds and protein crops.
  • The demand for animal feed in the EU is forecast to decline over the coming years due to reductions in the EU’s production of pigmeat and beef along with a decline in the dairy herd.
  • EU beef consumption remains challenged by high price, consumer health and sustainability concerns. This, combined with low profitability, a more strict environmental and climate regulatory framework, is expected to lead to further production decline by 2035.
  • Consumption of pigmeat is challenged by sustainability and health concerns as well and is therefore projected to decrease between now and 2035.
  • Among meats, poultry could continue benefiting from a relatively healthier image, absence of religious constraints, and a cheaper price. Together with further export opportunities, this would push poultry production upward between now and 2035, albeit at a lower yearly growth rate than seen in the past decade.
  • Consumption of dairy products is expected to stabilize, in line with changing habits, such as the lower consumption of drinking milk, and expanding novel uses of dairy products, such as the increasing use of dairy ingredients.

In line with the latest Smart Protein report

The Agricultural Outlook report reflects the findings of the latest, EU-funded Smart Protein survey which found that most Europeans are now reducing their meat consumption.

The survey involved 7,500 people in 10 European countries and was carried out by ProVeg in partnership with the University of Copenhagen and Ghent University

Called “Evolving appetites: an in-depth look at European attitudes towards plant-based eating”, the survey found that 51% of meat eaters in Europe claim they are actively reducing their annual meat consumption, up from 46% in 2021.

The primary motivation for reducing meat consumption is for health reasons (47%), especially in Romania and Italy, followed by environmental concerns (29%), mostly in Denmark and the Netherlands, and animal welfare (26%), mostly in Germany and the Netherlands, the survey found.


Notes to Editors

For media inquiries, email Peter Rixon at [email protected]

About ProVeg International

ProVeg International is a food awareness organization with the mission to replace 50% of animal products globally with plant-based and cultivated foods by 2040. Our vision is a world where everyone chooses delicious and healthy food that is good for all humans, animals, and our planet.


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