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European Environment Initiative (EURENI)

Funding Call
Two young people in front of a mountain panorama hold an EU flag

PlantEurope: European Network for a Plant-Based Diet

Grantee

NAHhaft e.V. 

Implementing partners

ProVeg International, European Alliance for Plant-based Foods (EAPF), European Vegetarian Union (EVU)

Duration

completed

2021-12-01 till 2024-05-31

Location

Europe – Europe

Funding Amount

360,800.00 €

For a change in consumption habits, better access to healthy, especially plant-based foods is needed, including alternative proteins from plant-based sources.

Project background

Due to the growing threat to our climate, the environment, human health and animal welfare, there is an urgent need to transform the global non-sustainable food system. As the EAT-Lancet Report proves, it is vital to change the prevalent global diet to one based on a higher intake of plant-based foods in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and the goals of the Paris Agreement.

For a change in consumption habits (dietary shift) of broad sections of the population, better, inclusive access to healthy, especially plant-based foods is needed, including alternative proteins from plant-based sources: Legumes, microalgae, but also mycoprotein or animal products such as edible insects and biotechnological innovations such as in-vitro meat are conceivable options. The preparation and provision of information as well as educational opportunities that reach all segments of the population are necessary. Innovation and development of sustainable and healthy plant-based products as well as alternative protein sources that are well-marketed and easily available are in demand.

In Europe, significant and successful initiatives in civil society and the private sector which put plant-based nutrition into practice already exist. These initiatives range from the development of new products, to campaigning, to information provision, to more sustainable offerings in community catering. First laws favoring more vegan options in public canteens are now being passed. However, pioneers with their success stories in different European countries are hardly connected with each other, which means that synergy potentials for the promotion of plant-based nutrition remain unused. This lack of fruitful exchange and pan-European cooperation is to be actively and specifically counteracted by this project.

Project goals and measures

The immediate goal of the PlantEurope project is to connect sustainable food pioneers, flagship projects, start-ups, organizations, associations, scientists, political decision-makers and stakeholders within the gastronomy and communal catering sector across Europe. By creating and expanding this European network, the overarching goal of changing the food system to one based on a plant-based diet is to be accelerated.

The project starts by inviting prospective members to join a Europe-wide network for a plant-based diet and alternative protein sources. They will be connected through a network website, providing resources like digital toolkits, presentations of successful initiatives, an overview of relevant networks and actors in Europe as well as a list of important studies and reports related to the field to inform and guide the members’ own endeavors. In addition to the website itself, an online community will enable the members as well as the interested public to get in touch with each other directly, helping to promote, disseminate and replicate success stories in the promotion of a plant-based nutrition.

The networks’ activities will also include numerous smaller events such as “speed dating” and bilateral meetings between members. Additionally, three online panel discussions addressing different aspects of the transition to a plant-based diet will be held. In order to inform decision-makers and the general public, and provide network actors with additional knowledge, two reports on the benefits of plant-based nutrition will be published. The first report will serve as a guideline on “Political Strategies for the Promotion of a Plant-Based Diet in Europe” and will give an overview of the approaches to support plant-based diets in Europe. This report is primarily meant to inform political decision-makers and will be available in both English and German. A second report will cover best practices and approaches by European countries and identify exemplary projects, options for action as well as obstacles and gaps in the implementation of a plant-based diet. This second report is aimed at all target groups of the PlantEurope project and looks to further disseminate and publicize the project’s core issues.