With a growing world population, global food security will be one of the greatest challenges of our time. The area of farmed land is constantly expanding thus outcompeting the forests which we depend on to keep C02 levels at stake. It is essential for future food security in EU, that we replace imported soy with sustainable, local sources for protein for feed and food.
The Nordic region is in a unique position to build a regional protein industry. With an extensive aquaculture industry and some of the world's leading research institutions along with strong support systems for entrepreneurship, the region holds a huge, untapped potential for self-sufficiency when it comes to protein to ensure food security without compromising the environment.
Over the fall of 2018, EIT Climate KIC has gathered Nordic researchers, funders and industry partners representing all angles of the system around alternative proteins to map out the possibilities for developing a Nordic Industry for locally sourced, sustainable proteins to replace imported soy in feed and provide delicious and healthy alternatives to animal proteins for human consumption.
The work resulted in a systems map of the current and emerging protein landscape.
On June 27, EIT Climate KIC and Forum for the Future will host a workshop under the headline "Challenges and opportunities in developing a systemic perspective on sustainable proteins for food and feed."
Currently we use the majority of our arable land to produce feed for our meat and dairy production. But our own production is not nearly sufficient to cover the protein need for our livestock production. Therefore, we depend heavily on imported soy from Argentina, Brazil and USA. This dependence on the soy market means that large money flows out of the Nordic region and it entails a high level of CO2 emissions due to deforestation as a result of the soy production.
The challenge therefore remains to find alternatives to soy, based on a multitude of sources which can be produced at a competitive price and at a scale, that is sufficient to cover the demand from the industry.
During this workshop, we will dive into opportunities and barriers in driving the needed systemic change towards sustainable food systems of the future. The work will build on the systems map of Alternative proteins and the Feed Compass as developed by the two hosting organizations. Together we will seek to identify where we are seeing action in the Nordics that enables the work towards regional protein self-sufficiency and examples of where the Nordics have lead change that others could learn from as well as dive into areas where more action is needed.