What is the state of plant-based business today? Julie Emmett, Senior Director of Retail Partnerships at the Plant Based Foods Association, and Caroline Bushnell, Vice President of Corporate Engagement at The Good Food Institute, join me on The Plantbased Business Hour to discuss exciting new data around plant-based trends and innovations, and if plant-based meat will be 10% of the meat market in three years.
Specifically, we discuss:
- What proof in retail sales substantiates that plant-based eating is the result of change in consumer behavior?
- What kind of advancements will we see in education around plant-based items in the grocery stores?
- Fermented proteins v. cultivated meat: what kind of growth and technology are we seeing behind these two break-out technologies?
- When will we see meaningful government research dollars in the U.S. attributed to plant-based foods, cultivated meat and fermented proteins?
- What are the whitespaces that need to be addressed?
Below is a highlight clip on the state of plant-based business from our long-form conversation above, along with a transcript.
Elysabeth: Ultimately, as we have more people on the planet-we are going from 7.6 billion people to 9.8 billion people- but we’re not getting more land and we’re not getting more water, countries might not be so willing to share and trade food with each other. If you don’t have control over your own food supply, you really don’t have global political power. If I were a politician, I would be on top of that. So, I look at Israel and I see that beautiful triangle they have between government, education, the largest educational institutions, and entrepreneurs. And we’re not really forming that here and I wondered if either of you would like to comment.
Caroline Bushnell: Alternative proteins provide a solution to these major global challenges from food security to climate change to global hunger. I mean, these are the things that governments exist to address so we do expect that we will see more government investment in alternative proteins and do hope that that model that you just spoke about is replicated in more countries as this is such a pressing issue. And it’s a focus area for GFI right now, really calling on the US government to put more investment into research and development in alternative proteins and there are some promising indicators there. You mentioned Israel, but there are several other countries that have already put millions into these technologies and do largely look at this from a food security standpoint. We are calling on the government to do that and our policy team is starting to see some interest from several US policy makers that they are working with on this front both at the state and the federal level.
Julie Emmett: You know, we’ve, up until this point, generally been defending bills and now we’re all becoming more proactive with proactive policies to be able to get the research needed to be able to grow and to even the playing field which is all you can ask for, right? So, I think it’s really exciting, the developments that we’re seeing in all of those areas.
Elysabeth: Yes, and it is such a large conversation. It’s an existential one really. I was speaking at the UN Global Compact Leader Summit recently about farmers and how plant-based foods can be a solution for them as well as we look for better opportunities to farm and more opportunities for farmers and more equity in the whole food process. So, you know, one of the strange stats is that the people who actually make our food, globally around the world, those who are picking the food etc., they’re the people who have the least access to food.
So, there’s this whole inequity throughout the food system globally. It was exciting to speak there and it’s exciting that the U.N. Global Compact was open to hearing how plant-based could be a solution. So, these are exciting times in that people are starting to open up to the message in a way that even a year ago I was having trouble having these conversations with people.
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