At the Good Food Institute Europe, we’re building
a sustainable, secure and just food system.
The sustainable protein solution
People across Europe want a sustainable, secure and just food system. But studies show that people’s day-to-day food choices are driven by taste, price and convenience.
So at the Good Food Institute Europe, we’re working to make the better, more sustainable choice the default option. We work to make plant-based and cultivated meat delicious, affordable and accessible.
By making meat from plants and cultivating it from cells, we can reduce the environmental impact of our food system and feed more people with fewer resources.
The problems we’re solving
Animal agriculture causes 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions – equivalent to all the planes, trucks, cars, trains and ships on Earth.
Research by Oxford University shows that the world cannot meet its climate targets without shifting away from conventional animal agriculture. But in Europe, meat consumption is increasing.
Moving to plant-based and cultivated meat could reduce climate emissions by up to 92% compared with farming animals – enabling people to eat familiar foods, without accelerating the climate crisis.
Western Europe is one of the most nature-depleted regions in the world.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 37% of global ice-free land is used as pasture for farming animals.
Cultivated meat production could use up to 95% less land than farming animals, and plant-based meat can use up to 99% less land. These sustainable proteins can free up space to restore habitats, and to use more nature-friendly methods of farming.
With 37% of EU marine habitats already endangered, plant-based and cultivated seafood avoid marine pollution and let populations recover from overfishing.
Public health risks
Antibiotics are used widely in industrial animal agriculture – driving antimicrobial resistance.
More than 350,000 Europeans a year fall ill and hundreds die due to food-borne illnesses caused by faecal contamination.
Using animals for food is also a key driver of pandemics, including Covid-19.
Plant-based and cultivated meat are free of antibiotics and faecal contamination, and involve no risk of zoonotic diseases.
Feeding crops to animals and then eating a part of the animal is exceedingly inefficient, driving up the price of grains and legumes and entrenching global poverty. According to the World Resources Institute, it takes nine calories of feed to produce one calorie of chicken meat.
By 2050, the world will have to feed a population of nearly 10 billion people, and we can’t do it with a system as inefficient as animal agriculture.
By making meat directly from plants and cultivating it directly from cells, we can focus on growing crops to feed people instead of animals, creating a more efficient and just food system.
Europe is the world’s biggest market for plant-based meat, and the birthplace of cultivated meat.
With ambitious climate targets, five of the world’s top 10 universities, and many of the world’s global economies, Europe should be a global leader in sustainable proteins.
But as countries like the United States, China, Singapore and Israel begin to invest, Europe risks falling behind.
GFI Europe is working to ensure the region seizes the opportunity to create local jobs, tackle climate change, and feed a growing population with homegrown sustainable proteins.
Find relevant resources
Explore the science of plant-based, cultivated meat and fermentation. Discover research ideas, funding opportunities and open-access tools.
Learn more about how plant-based and cultivated meat can help governments address issues like climate change and antibiotic resistance.
For investors and industry
Find opportunities and open-access advice on producing and selling plant-based and cultivated meat.
Arrange interviews with sustainable protein experts, find photos and facts, and access GFI Europe’s latest press releases.
Meet the researcher: squeezing the protein out of plants with Dr Alan Javier Hernandez Alvarez
A career spent exploring the nutritional and health benefits of plant-based foods – along with an outsider’s perspective – has given Dr Alan Javier Hernandez Alvarez a unique insight into the challenges…
Investment in sustainable protein up 24% in Europe for 2022 despite global economic turbulence
New data reveals sustainable protein companies across Europe raised €579 million ($622 million) in investment last year – nearly 24% more than in 2021 – despite strong global economic headwinds.
Alt Protein Project: join the students driving sustainable protein research across Europe
Our Science and Technology Community Coordinator Martina Helmlinger on the exciting work of the Alt Protein Project and how students can get involved.
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