This week, the Israeli government announced five national objectives, one of which was “Food tech, with an emphasis on alternative proteins.”
The choice was decided after consulting with the nonprofit organization GFI Israel, which is important in the region for promoting the benefits of alternative proteins as a remedy for the world’s food and climate challenges.
“The decision to select food tech with an emphasis on alternative proteins as one of Israel’s five national focus areas, positions the field as a key growth engine for Israel, especially in light of global trends such as the climate and global food crises, and will be a global strategic asset as well,” said Alla Voldman-Rentzer, vice president at the GFI Israel.
The study of alternative proteins will now benefit from the NIS180M annually allocated for research grants and national initiatives by the Ministry of Innovation and Science.
Will the EU follow suit?
The GFI Europe is now urging the EU and its member states to follow Israel’s lead or risk falling behind as a result of its decision. According to Acacia Smith, senior policy manager at the Good Food Institute Europe,
“This announcement is a hugely significant step, demonstrating Israel’s commitment to sustainable proteins as a key pillar of its climate and food security plans. Europe has been a pioneer in this field. With serious investment in open-access research, we could lead the world in plant-based and cultivated meat. But as countries like Israel make sustainable proteins a priority, we’re at serious risk of falling behind”, she said.
Israel is already regarded as a leader in the field of food technology and uses cellular agriculture, precision fermentation, and biomass fermentation to create meat- and dairy-free products.
A new GFI analysis states that in 2022, Israel’s alternative protein market expanded by 160%. The figures are the result of comparing the first half of 2022 to the same time in 2021. According to additional data, Israel ranks first globally with 22% of worldwide investments in plant-based protein and second globally (after the United States) with 38% of global investments in proteins obtained by fermentation.
“However, to maintain its advantage, Israel needs to build the appropriate infrastructure and fund further research in the field. The importance of alternative proteins stems from the need to produce a global food industry that can respond to humanity’s great challenges, which include: the expected increase in the world’s population, the climate crisis, the global food crisis, and the prevention of the environmental damage caused by industrial farming”, stated Alla Voldman-Rentzer on the government’s decision.
The ministry also selected bio-convergence, aquaculture, renewable energy and energy storage, and space as its additional focus areas.
Source: “Israel Declares Food Tech & Alt Protein as National Priority; GFI Implores EU to Follow Suit” by vegconomist
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