Since the joint Austrian-French Declaration in December 2021, the Council has been advocating for a European plant protein strategy that would increase the European production and at the same time reduce the dependency from third countries. Despite the Commission reluctancy to act on this topic, recent happenings in the context of food security have created the conditions for a renewed push in this respect.
The Versailles Declaration already included a commitment to increase the EU production of plant-based proteins. This ambition was further elaborated by Austria in an information to the Council supported by 19 other Member States which resulted in a formal call from the Council to the Commission to present a proposal on a European plant protein strategy during last Monday AGRI-FISH Council.
During the same week, Euroseeds, Copa Cogeca and FEFAC have released a joint statement calling on the European Commission to take a leading role in promoting the domestic cultivation and use of European plant sourced protein. The statement highlighted that achieving a sustainable EU protein plan and offering European farmers new ways to adapt supply to changing demand, the European plant protein sector needs to be competitive, of high quality and resilient to the numerous economic, environmental, climatic and technological challenges.
Moreover, on Thursday 24th March the European Parliament held its Plenary meeting during which the MEPs adopted a resolution to ensure food security and support Ukraine. The resolution includes a call to the EU Commission to propose a European strategy for the advancement of the European protein local production.
In light of the current debate, Euroseeds acknowledges the willingness from the Council and the Parliament to act at the European level and calls on the Commission to work out a balanced and positive framework for an EU plant-based protein enabling plant breeders to make protein crops fit for the future.