Source: Unsplash/Francesco Gallarotti

Europe Day 2023 highlights the importance of alternative-protein innovators

(4 min read)

Plant-based, fermented, and cultured proteins may offer sustainability and stability to Europe’s food system

This Europe Day (9th May 2023), ProVeg International and the EU-funded Smart Protein Project are raising awareness of the need for sustainable food production in our changing world

What is Europe Day?

Europe Day marks the anniversary of the historic ‘Schuman declaration’, which set out revolutionary minister Robert Schuman’s idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe. This ultimately led to the creation of today’s European Union.

The Smart Protein Project aims to develop new alternative-protein products for humans that have a positive impact – a new form of food production and consumption.

Alt-proteins made from plants, cellular agriculture, and precision fermentation can be produced in ways that require significantly fewer resources and produce dramatically fewer greenhouse gas emissions than those produced through traditional animal agriculture. They offer us a new means of feeding our growing population and reducing crises.

Through developing alt-proteins, your business can help to transform the food system, and benefit, too. 

Why do we need sustainable food production?

In 1980 we needed ‘just’ one planet to keep up with our society’s consumption levels. Today, we need 1.5 planets; in 2030, we’ll need two planets, and in 2050, we’ll need three planets to provide enough resources,[1] if the population reaches the anticipated 9.6 billion.

Tied to this is a growing number of global crises: 

Tuesday 9th May marks Europe Day 2023. Image source: Unsplash/USGS.

Why do we need to act?

The above issues not only threaten health and peace within Europe but globally. As supply chains become disjointed and resources diminish, we will see food system fragility.  

We need to engage and educate consumers on smarter, healthier, more sustainable animal-free alternatives and build a more efficient food system – one that is safe, healthy, accessible, and profitable for all. 

Europe Day 2023 is a great reminder of the need and potential for alt-protein innovators across Europe, and beyond.

How can businesses benefit?

Innovative brands have already developed sell-out products made from plant-based proteins. Image source: Unsplash/LikeMeat.

Essentially, opportunities are up for grabs, with the potential to develop and capitalise on the skyrocketing alternative protein market – still in its infancy.

The Smart Protein Project can help your business

Obtain relevant insights on the market through the Smart Protein reports and attain proof of the diet transition. The open-access research on consumer behaviour, marketing, food processing, life-cycle assessments, and more, are available for all.

European consumers are already on board – with a recent pan-European Union (EU) survey finding that almost 40% of all EU consumers now identify as either flexitarian, vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan. While over in Germany, over 50% of consumers already identify as flexitarian![5] Consumers are ready to shift to more sustainable foods and eat less meat and dairy. 

Market growth reflects this – sales of plant-based foods grew by 21% between 2020 and 2022 to reach a significant €5.8 billion across Europe.[6] The future is also promising, with experts predicting category growth to continue on its upward trajectory, with further expansion stimulated by the development and regulation of emerging alternative protein categories like precision fermentation and cellular agriculture.

Image source: Unsplash/Gravity

By developing alternative proteins, your business will help to shape a sustainable food production system to support the future of Europe, and the world beyond. 

Getting involved now will mean that your company will be at the forefront of an innovative industry that’s likely to lead to future global economic growth and security.

ProVeg and the Smart Protein Project

ProVeg International and the Smart Protein Project are leading communication and dissemination activities in the alt-protein sphere, as well as contributing to consumer and market research across the food and drink industry.

Learn more about the Smart Protein Project here, and get in touch with ProVeg International at [email protected] to discuss your product strategy and maximise sales.


1  Sustainable Development Goals, (2021). United Nations. Available at: Accessed 2023-05-04.
2, 3, 4 The Global Report on Food Crisis 2022. WPF, FSIN. Available at: Accessed 2023-05-03.
5  ProVeg International (2020): European consumer survey on plant-based foods. Available at: Accessed 2021-10-08
6  Market Insights on European Plant-Based Sales (20232). GFI Europe. Available at: Accessed 2023-05-04.

This could also be interesting for you

Choose what interests you:

Sort by

February highlights from the plant-based and alternative-protein sectors: UK government urged to allow plant-based brands to use dairy-like terms, and precision-fermentation-derived products gaining momentum 

Alternative proteins are gaining momentum despite challenging market conditions. From record…

Edinburgh city

January highlights from the plant-based and alternative-protein sector: Edinburgh becomes first EU capital to join the Plant Based Treaty

As retailers and foodservices embrace Veganuary, Edinburgh makes history by becoming the first…

Young positive glad smiling couple of customers choosing chocolate in food department of supermarket

December highlights from the plant-based and alternative-protein sector: Swiss court sides with Planted on meaty labelling

As we head into the new year, companies like This and Domino’s have launched new plant-based…