Priority: Starch Europe welcomes Commission’s report on plant proteins
Starch Europe Welcomes Release of Commission’s Report on the Development of Plant Proteins in Europe
27 November 2018
Brussels, Belgium - Starch Europe welcomes the release of the European Commission’s report of 22 November to the Council and the European Parliament on the development of Plant Proteins in the European Union. (COM (2018) 757 final)
Starch Europe welcomes all initiatives to promote the production of proteins in Europe. As an important stakeholder in plant protein production in Europe, the starch industry - through Starch Europe - has actively participated in the consultation process of this report, and welcomes the seriousness and expediency with which the European Commission has attempted to address the issue.
We regret however that the protein products derived from starch production were not included in the scope of the report. In its production processes for starch, the European Starch industry produces 5.2 million tonnes of protein products (2017), including wheat proteins such as vital wheat gluten and wheat gluten feed, corn gluten meal and feed, potato proteins and pea proteins. We hope these will be included in the study commissioned by DG Agriculture, which is expected to be published in January 2019.
In our initial analysis we particularly welcome action area 5 to improve and promote research and innovation at EU level and welcome the opportunity to contribute to the increased sharing of knowledge and best practices in supply chain management and sustainable agronomic practices, through the bundling of information on research activities in breeding, technical innovation and processing on a dedicated knowledge platform. We also welcome action area 4, inviting Member States and stakeholders to pro-actively communicate and promote protein plants for agriculture, food and feed and the Commission’s commitment to widely communicate the benefits of plant proteins.
While the full meaning and implications of the plan still need to be analysed, Starch Europe sees it as a very positive step overall, and is pleased that this recognises the potential and promising prospects of this segment, particularly in food applications.
Furthermore, Starch Europe welcomes the Commission’s proposal to dedicate €10 billion to food, agriculture, rural development and the bioeconomy. A logical next step will hopefully see the development of wider long term investment plans for seed development, and research and innovation funding for the extraction of proteins, while also investigating the demand side more in-depth; integrating proteins as food ingredients into the future Horizon Europe, would contribute to the first of the FOOD2030’s four priorities: nutrition.
Finally, Starch Europe commits to contributing constructively to the EU platform that aims at bringing the actors of the chain closer together, as announced by Commissioner Hogan.
The EU starch industry is investing in its protein potential to upgrade it and to sell it to the food markets; supporting the innovation at each level of the plant-based value chain, from farm to fork, will be instrumental in realising this potential.
For more information on Starch Europe’s position on Proteins, see the Starch Europe Position Paper here. (LINK HERE)