SMP-2218 | Sustainable raw material supply for future European alternative protein products

Bert van ReesDuitsland, Project

Projecttitel: Sustainable raw material supply for future European alternative protein products
Projectnummer: SMP-2218
Land: Duitsland
Looptijd: 2022
Budget: € 40.000
Projectleider: Michiel van Dijk
Kennisinstelling: Wageningen University & Research

Currently, consumption of alternative protein products (e.g. oats-based milk and legume-based burgers) show a rapid increase in Europe. However, many of the required (plant-based) raw materials have to be imported (e.g. soy). Ideally, future alternative protein products will build largely upon locally sourced raw materials (where possible) for both economic and sustainability reasons. Which plant-based raw materials can be grown at scale in Europe? How will the demand for plant-based food develop in the future? Is it cost-efficient for farmers to switch from traditional crops (e.g. maize) to oats, legumes and other plant-based protein sources? What organisational design and business models are most appropriate to further the uptake of new protein raw materials? To answer these questoons, it requires an integrated assessment that investigates different perspectives, including bio-physical, demand, farm, value chain and sustainability analysis.

This seed money project will summarize existing knowledge on the feasibility of sourcing raw materials for plant-based protein alternatives and present a clear (research) approach on how to generate insight in the most promising plant-based materials at scale in (North-West) Europe. For each perspective, we aim to combine the best research methods to develop a decision support tool that will accelerate the protein transition.

Eventually, this will enable companies to make a better judgement on where to invest and focus on in terms of crop technology, crop production and (consumer) product development and where collaboration between partners need to be supported. Ultimately, the project will contribute to more achieving several Sustainable Development Goals, specifically: SDG3. Good Health and Well being, SDG13: Climate Action and SDG 15: Life on land.


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