This report calls on the UK Government to adopt a comprehensive policy stance on alternative proteins (APs) – food products deriving their protein content from non-animal or non-traditional sources.
Alternative proteins are a greener, kinder, and more efficient means of getting protein into our diets, than animal-based foods. Consumer appetite for alternatives to conventional meat, dairy and seafood has grown considerably in recent years and the UK has a strong domestic market. This report discuss the potentially wide-ranging benefits of alternative proteins but recognises the significant barriers that stand in the way. Many of these barriers are amenable to proactive, long-term policymaking. However, at present, UK policy in this space is fragmented and underdeveloped. A failure to act soon risks the UK falling behind international competitors, foregoing opportunities for British businesses, for attracting overseas businesses and investors, and hindering the transition to greener diets.
This report makes the case that government should help to expand consumer choice and catalyse a consumer-led transition to more sustainable forms of protein.
- BEIS should be tasked with developing a UK alternative protein strategy with cross-departmental input within the next 12 months.
- The Government should commission an innovation needs assessment for alternative proteins to better understand the scale of R&D required and where money could be spent most effectively.
- Supermarkets should publicly disclose what proportion of protein sales come from plant-based products, striving to reach 30% by 2030.
- Reforms to Government Buying Standards for food should leverage the power of the public sector to aid the transition to meat, dairy and seafood alternatives.
- Improve public data on animal-based protein consumption.