Group calls for EU strategy on plant protein

Goal is a reduction in EU dependency on key imported agricultural products and inputs.

March 21, 2022

3 Min Read
Group calls for EU strategy on plant protein

The European Commission has been called upon to take a leading role in promoting the domestic cultivation and use of European plant-sourced protein.

Those involved in issuing the call to action are Copa and Cogeca, FEFAC and Euroseeds. Their request is directly related to the recent EU Council declaration in which the intention was announced to improve food security by reducing the European Union’s dependencies on key imported agricultural products and inputs by increasing the EU production of plant-based proteins.

The group pointed out that there is no simple solution to overcome the EU deficit in high-protein sources. Despite the advances in plant breeding, cultivation and processing technology, it is thought that Europe is not likely to reach self-sufficiency entirely in the short or mid-term, in particular if there is no access to best in class breeding technics, crop protection products and fertilizers, it was stated.

In order to achieve a sustainable EU protein plan and offer European farmers new ways to adapt supply to changing demand, the European plant protein sector needs to be competitive, of high quality and resilient to the numerous economic, environmental, climatic and technological challenges. To achieve these goals, the group said there needs to be consistent European and Member State policies.

To that it called for a set of measures with the aim of increasing the domestic protein production to reduce dependency on imports, increase diversity in crop use and lower carbon footprint:

  • To provide a consistent EU framework enabling European protein value chains’ competitiveness

  • To provide meaningful and long-term incentive to stakeholders

  • To develop a balance sheet to track productions and consumptions of food plant protein, and to support the development of national feed protein balance sheets

  • To develop innovation-friendly framework for competitive research and development

  • To support educational communication to consumers on the EU sustainable agricultural production practices and benefits of diversified and a balanced diet that include plant protein-based food

Copa and Cogeca are the united voice of farmers and agricultural cooperatives in the EU. Together, they ensure that European agriculture is sustainable, innovative and competitive, thus ensuring food security for half a billion people in Europe. In Europe. Copa represents over 23 million farmers and their families, while Cogeca defends the interests of 22,000 agricultural cooperatives. They have 66 member organizations from the EU Member States. Together, they constitute one of the largest and most active lobbying organizations in Brussels, Belgium.

Euroseeds is the voice of the European seed sector and represent the interests of those active in research, breeding, production and marketing of seeds of agricultural including protein, horticultural and ornamental plant species.

FEFAC the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation, represents 23 national associations in 23 EU Member States as well as associations in Switzerland, Turkey, Serbia, Russia and Norway with observer/associate member status. The EU feed industry currently processes around 30 million metrics tons of soy alone, being as such the largest user of proteins of vegetable origin.

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