In the budget for 2024, the federal government has made available the groundbreaking sum of 38 million euros for the promotion of plant-based, precision-fermented, and cell-cultured proteins and the sustainable restructuring of agriculture, as MP Dr. Zoe Mayer, Green Party member of the Food and Agriculture Committee, announced yesterday.
“With this budget resolution, the federal government is marking nothing less than a turning point in protein promotion,” explains Jens Tuider, strategic head of the nutrition organization ProVeg International.
Protein promotion on four pillars
The protein plant strategy of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is intended to promote proteins for human nutrition instead of animal feed and will receive 8 million euros for this. “Thanks to this decision, we will finally be able to use proteins effectively in the future,” says Tuider.
In addition, a competence center on the topic of proteins of the future and a stakeholder forum on protein sources for human nutrition are planned. “The competence center will offer young companies a much-needed contact point and thus keep Germany attractive as a location for innovation,” Tuider is certain.
The largest part of the funds, amounting to 20 million euros, is intended to help people phase out animal husbandry and start producing and processing plant-based, fermented and cell-cultured proteins for human nutrition. “The switching aids are an important signal to farmers that they are an indispensable and valuable part of the future protein supply,” says Tuider.
The remaining 10 million euros will be used to promote new methods for the production and processing of plant-based, fermented and cell-cultured proteins.
Climate policy recognizes the central importance of nutrition
The decision came after the Federal Constitutional Court declared the government coalition’s second supplementary budget null and void. This means that 60 billion euros were missing for climate protection projects. 1
By providing such a crucial sum for plant-based transformation, the federal government is clearly showing how important nutrition is for our future. “Germany is following pioneers such as Denmark, the Netherlands and Great Britain, who have made the diversification of protein supplies a top priority and are already investing in the expansion of corresponding ecosystems,” explains Tuider.
“This puts Germany in an excellent position to fully exploit the potential of a sustainable protein supply – from climate protection to health protection, from future-proof jobs to innovation leadership in a rapidly growing global market,” Tuider continues to analyze. This year, the World Climate Conference will also focus on transforming our global food system for the first time, thanks in part to ProVeg’s initiative.
Germany is ready for the protein transition
The recently published BMEL nutrition report showed that only 20% of the population in Germany eat meat every day. 46% of those surveyed say they consciously limit their meat consumption. 10% of them already eat plant-based alternatives to meat products and more than half have bought alternative products at least once. 2
1 Tagesschau (2023): Judgment on the supplementary budget: How the traffic lights violated the Basic Law, published on November 15, 2023. Online at: https://www.tagesschau.de/inland/innenpolitik/bundesverfassungsgericht-nachtragshaushalt-102.html
2 Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (2023): Germany, how it eats: The BMEL Nutrition Report 2023, published on October 13, 2023. Online at: https://www.bmel.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/Broschueren/ernaehrungsreport-2023.html