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Food Fermentation Europe launched by five precision fermentation leaders

March 16, 2023

Leading precision fermentation players have come together to establish a new alliance, Food Fermentation Europe (FFE), which will work toward a forward-looking regulatory environment that can help bring more sustainable animal-free foods and ingredients to the European market and enable a resilient and sustainable food system in Europe.

Better Dairy, Formo, Imagindairy, Onego Bio and Those Vegan Cowboys have joined forces to establish Food Fermentation Europe.

FFE’s founding members use the centuries-old technique of fermentation, evolved to a high-tech form called precision fermentation, to produce specific animal-free products such as proteins or fats leading to high quality alternatives for milk, eggs, cheese and other products. The technology, already used for decades in enzyme and additive production, can deliver a major positive impact on emissions, biodiversity and water use. Our food production technologies - all developed in Europe - can help to mitigate the climate crisis Europe is witnessing.

This alliance forms at a time when the EU is looking to develop a new Sustainable Food Systems Framework for how we produce and consume food in Europe, when demand for tasty and nutritious animal-free, sustainable foods options is rising rapidly among people. Despite this, the policy objectives of the Green New Deal and the regulatory process for Novel nFoods (which includes food made via precision fermentation) are not aligned. The current regulatory processes are far too lengthy and opaque and changes are urgently needed to facilitate market access.

It’s clear that the EU needs to enable innovative solutions to come to market sooner rather than later, or risks falling behind in the global race on sustainable food innovation.

Food Fermentation Europe’s vision is a new blend within the EU’s food system, which combines sustainable tradition and technology. FFE looks forward to working with policymakers and stakeholders to create the right market and regulatory conditions to embrace fermentation as one of the most sustainable pathways for the agri-food sector, secure the EU’s competitiveness in food innovation and create a sustainable food framework which is aligned with the Green New Deal.

“This is a critical time for the EU’s agri-food sector," commented Christian Poppe, Spokesperson for Food Fermentation Europe and Director Global Public Affairs at Formo. "Not only do we need to become more sustainable, but we also need to ensure that new innovations can break through and come to market to make sure the EU remains competitive globally. Food fermentation products can meet both of these challenges by providing great new animal-free products for people, with drastically less environmental footprint than their alternatives. Now is the right time for our Alliance and we are committed to working with EU decision makers and stakeholders to identify the policies needed to facilitate the food system transition.”

“Our supply chains are being tested to the extreme by a range of issues including the climate crisis, war in Ukraine and diseases such as bird flu," said Jevan Nagarajah, CEO of Better Dairy, one of the founding members. "Europe's population, as is the right of every population, deserves to be food-secure in a world where droughts are expected to rise in both frequency and intensity. Precision Fermentation is a powerful means to creating a resilient food system, and our alliance is ready to engage with the stakeholder ecosystem on much needed policy changes and attitudes toward this technology.”

“Establishing Food Fermentation Europe is a timely and much needed step towards giving fermentation-enabled food technologies a voice in key policy arenas and debates," added Raffael Wohlgensinger, CEO of Formo, another founding member. "We are excited to launch this with our industry peers and can’t wait to engage with everyone who shares our vision of creating an innovation-friendly policy framework that enables the emergence of a sustainable, equitable and resilient agri-food system. Europe still has a chance to become an accelerator of helping the bioeconomy to be a catalyst for safe, sustainable and animal-free fermentation foods - but it needs to take radical policy action immediately.”

"Emissions reduction is an urgent global challenge, but it also presents a unique opportunity for the agri-food sector to embrace new sustainable practices," commented Dr Eyal Afergan, CEO of founding member Imagindairy. "Precision fermentation holds multiple environmental benefits, including a low carbon footprint and thus offers a promising solution for reducing emissions while creating new opportunities for farmers and entrepreneurs to innovate and contribute to a more sustainable food system. It is our mission as an alliance to explore and build these opportunities together with all relevant stakeholders.”

"As Food Fermentation Europe we will advocate for a predictable and more efficient market approval process," said Maija Itkonen, CEO of Onego Bio. "Regulations and policies need to be aligned with the legislative framework for Sustainable Food Systems if Europe wants to stay globally competitive with regard to sustainable food innovation. The members of Food Fermentation Europe all have excellent science-based products with high market traction and great sustainable impact potential. Contrary to the assumption of the EU, we are well funded and know how to make money out of science. The question is, how can the EU improve its market approval process for sustainable food innovation?”

"If we’re smart about fermentation, eight billion people can eat well, off just 40% of the farmland in use today" concluded Jaap Korteweg, Organic Farmer, CEO Those Vegan Cowboys, founder The Vegetarian Butcher. "Circular, organic, plant-based and in balance. Freeing the animal from our food system relieves our farmers from the societal burdens they've come to bear - they can reclaim their role as true herders of the land. The faster we can make this happen, the better, and this alliance will definitely make a difference."

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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