German Government to boost alternative proteins with €38m investment

Alternative proteins are a key area of investment in a number of European countries. In August, the UK​ announced the launch of an innovation hub to boost research into alternative proteins. Catalonia, Spain​ followed in October, announcing it would invest €7m into alternative protein research.

Now, it’s Germany’s turn. The announcement was made last week by Dr Zoe Mayer, a member of the German Parliament and of the Alliance90/Green Party who serves on the Committee on Food and Agriculture.

The plan

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) announced a breakdown of the funding.

Eight million euros of the funding will focus on promoting protein directly for human consumption, rather than animal feed.

The investment will be used to establish a ‘competence centre’ (centres staffed with experts who are there to provide consultation in a given field) on future proteins, as well as a stakeholder forum on protein sources for human nutrition. The competence centre will be a ‘contact point’ for startups.

However, the majority of the funding, some €20m, will be devoted to phasing out animal husbandry, instead promoting the transition towards the production of cultivated, fermented and plant-based proteins.

The final €10m will be dedicated to finding the best new and innovative methods for the production and processing of these kinds of proteins.

The makings of the decision

Germany is a key market for alternative proteins. For example, a recent study​, which also analysed Denmark, France, Italy, Poland and Spain, found that Germany had the greatest market potential for plant-based dairy out of the countries surveyed.