Towards a sustainable plant protein and plant oil strategy for the EU

November 9, 2022

EU Protein Plan
Opinion report from the European Economic and Social Committee

In 2018, the European Parliament’s adopted a resolution on a ‘European strategy for the promotion of protein crops‘, which provided a detailed analysis on the status of protein with special regard to production and arable land use within the EU Member States. It has emerged that the EU is largely dependent for the high-protein segment and that information has raised an important concern regarding EU’s feed and food security, especially with the current global situation. As a result these information raised an important concern regarding EU’s feed and food security.

A European protein strategy has been under discussion for years, but there has been little progress to date on declarations to expand protein crop production in Europe. Based on the reports’ findings, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) published an opinion expressing a clear position on the importance of improving the EU’s protein autonomy and guidance on additional aspects on sustainability, food security and supply autonomy.

In the opinion report the ESCC states that there are several good reasons for expanding protein production in the EU such as increasing the role of grassland in feeding animals, reducing imports of soybeans from third countries to tackle deforestation, forest degradation or the destruction of natural ecosystems in certain producing countries. The EESC further highlights that expanding oil crop cultivation in the EU could also lead to positive impacts such as self-sufficiency in terms of tractor fuel, increased availability of oil cakes supply that have an excellent protein feed potential and increased crop rotations.

Euroseeds welcomes the publication of the EESC’s opinion and urges the European Commission to soon implement an appropriate strategy for the development of a European protein, addressing sustainability, global food security and competitiveness and with research and innovation as key drivers along the entire value chain.