On the path to net zero: 9 ways the UK can build a ‘world-beating’ sustainable protein ecosystem

Government should invest £78 million annually in research between 2025-2030 as part of its science superpower mission. 

The UK government have long touted their ambitions to lead on net zero but food remains an important missing piece of the puzzle

Forging a path to net zero

A new report calls for the UK government to invest £390 million in foods such as plant-based, fermentation-made and cultivated meat to help create green jobs, bolster domestic food security and turn Britain into a science superpower.

International nonprofit the Good Food Institute Europe (GFI Europe) says the government must take bolder action to develop sustainable proteins – capable of reducing climate emissions by up to 92% compared to conventional meat – on the path to net zero or risk losing momentum to other countries.

What did the report find?

The report states that with strong political leadership, the UK could emulate the success of other green industries by creating sustainable protein industry clusters, with regional hotspots including the north east, Yorkshire and the Cambridge-Norwich corridor.

As well as clearing the path towards net zero, this could also deliver significant economic benefits. Recent Green Alliance research found that the UK’s sustainable protein industry could be worth up to £6.8 billion annually and create 25,000 jobs by 2035.

How the government can build a world-leading UK sustainable protein industry

The report recommends that the government:

Linus Pardoe, UK Policy Manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, said: “The UK is home to dynamic food producers, world-leading scientists and a strong plant-based market – all the tools needed to build a globally competitive sustainable protein industry capable of reducing emissions, creating green jobs and making the country less reliant on imports.

“The government promised to keep the UK at the forefront of this growing sector in last year’s food strategy, but it must act now to deliver on that ambition, including investing £390 million in research and giving the Food Standards Agency the resources it urgently needs. Failing to act risks the UK missing out on economic and environmental benefits as other countries race ahead.”


Linus Pardoe UK Policy Manager

Linus works with policymakers in the UK to advance plant-based foods, cultivated meat and fermentation.