In a significant move towards sustainable agriculture, the German government has earmarked €38 million in its 2024 budget for the promotion of plant-based, precision-fermented and cell-cultivated proteins.
The announcement was made towards the end of last week by Dr. Zoe Mayer, an Alliance90/Green Party Member of the German Parliament, who serves on the Committee on Food and Agriculture.
Jens Tuider, Strategic Director of ProVeg International, a global food awareness organisation, commended this development and described it as a pivotal moment in the promotion of alternative protein.
“The German government is setting the stage for a transformative shift in protein consumption,” Tuider said.
The four steps towards plant-based protein diversification:
The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) has outlined a comprehensive strategy to administer plant protein funding.
- €8 million to be dedicated to promoting proteins directly for human nutrition instead of animal feed.
“This investment signifies a critical step forward. Thanks to this decision, we will finally be able to use proteins effectively in the future,” Tuider said.
- A competence centre focused on future proteins will be established, along with a stakeholder forum on protein sources for human nutrition.
“The competence centre will offer young companies an important contact point, ensuring that Germany remains an attractive location for innovation,” Tuider emphasised.
- The majority of the funding, amounting to €20 million, is designated to assist in phasing out animal husbandry and transitioning to the production and processing of plant-based, fermented and cell-cultivated proteins for human consumption.
Tuider highlighted the importance of the transition aid, stating that it’s “an important signal to farmers that they are an indispensable and valuable part of the future protein supply,” says Tuider.
- The remaining €10 million will be directed towards promoting innovative methods for the production and processing of plant-based, fermented, and cell-cultivated proteins.
Recognition of nutrition’s central importance in climate policy
The decision follows the Federal Constitutional Court’s decision to nullify the coalition government’s second supplementary budget, leaving €60 billion for climate protection projects.
By providing such a crucial sum for the plant-based transformation, the German government is clearly demonstrating how important nutrition is for humanity’s future.
“Germany is following the lead of pioneering nations, such as Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK, who have made the diversification of protein supply a top priority and are already investing in the expansion of corresponding ecosystems. This puts Germany in an excellent position to maximise the opportunities offered by sustainable protein supply – spanning climate and health benefits, generating future-proof employment, and establishing leadership in innovation in a rapidly expanding global market,” Tuider explained.
ProVeg International will be promoting food system transformation at this year’s UN climate summit, COP28, which takes place in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates from November 30th. ProVeg will be joining with partners to host delegates at the Food4Climate Pavilion within the Blue Zone of the summit.
Germany is ready for the protein transition
The recently published BMEL nutrition report reveals a shifting dietary landscape in Germany, with only 20% of the population consuming meat daily. Notably, 46% of people surveyed consciously limit their meat intake, with 10% already incorporating plant-based alternatives. The report further found that more than half of the population has purchased alternative proteins at least once, indicating a growing appetite for sustainable protein options within Germany.
Notes to Editors
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About ProVeg International
Our vision is a world where everyone chooses delicious and healthy food that is good for all humans, animals, and our planet. ProVeg International is a food awareness organisation with the mission to replace 50% of animal products globally with plant-based and cultivated foods by 2040.