Foods analog to animal-sourced foods made from plants, obtained by fermentation processes or cell culture, are part of the solution to significant national and global challenges that governments are addressing. GFI Brazil advocates the convergence between agricultural, industrial, scientific, and technological policies, a pro-innovation and pro-investment regulatory framework, and public funding for research on alternative proteins.
What our work supports
We work to ensure public sector support for basic and applied research on alternative proteins, privileging elements of Brazilian biodiversity as unique ingredients and products. In addition, we support public policies that place all proteins for human consumption in compatible market conditions under a regulatory framework based on science and favorable to innovation. Government support and appropriate policies will ensure that the production and consumption of alternative proteins are economically viable and affordable, enabling a more resilient supply chain, a more robust economy, and more choice options for consumers.
Brazil is an agricultural powerhouse because there has been consistent investment in science and technology in the sector over the last 30 years. We will only continue to be this power if we repeat the recipe and continue investing in promising technologies. Thus, government support for research into alternative proteins is a way to stimulate socioeconomic development, offering more opportunities to food producers of all sizes, increasing revenues, and generating new job opportunities in productive activities that are more efficient in using natural resources.
The alternative protein market has multiplied in recent years. Consumers are increasingly turning to plant-based foods already available on the market. Meanwhile, news about cultivated meat reverberates worldwide and in Brazil, with products announced for 2024. These new sources of protein offer consumers the variety, convenience, and familiarity they want in their dishes. Therefore, we advocate transparent and efficient regulations so that more food reaches the market – and at the consumer’s table – with safety and quality.
With the increase in the world’s population, the demand for protein tends to increase. It brings with it the challenge of making it through a fairer, safer, and more sustainable food system. Diversifying the food supply by expanding the alternative protein sector brings benefits in terms of global health and sustainable use of natural resources, enhancing the resilience of the food production chain.
Learn about the initiatives
GFI Brasil’s public policy team is guided by the belief in the effectiveness of action when innovation is the catalyst for synergistic action between government, industry, and academia. We focus on four main initiatives for the advancement of alternative proteins in Brazil:
1- Advocating for a regulatory framework for the alternative protein sector
An established regulatory framework is fundamental for the construction of public policies that allow not only the growth of the sector, aiming to overcome financial barriers and create a favorable and stable environment for the actors involved but also the creation of a safe and healthy food production chain for consumers. Reviewing the regulatory framework for plant-based products and constructing a framework for products produced through cell culture or fermentation are necessary steps to ensure that producers and traders have legal security to operate in this new market and that consumers have access to safe and healthy food.
Among the public policy team’s actions on this front are the monitoring of legislative agendas, the promotion of regulatory impact studies, and the engagement between decision-makers from different agencies at the national and international levels.
2 - Alternative proteins as an innovation agenda in the bioeconomy
Achieving climate goals involves reimagining how we get protein for human consumption, without necessarily changing people’s habits, but relying on technological advances to change what people eat.Proteins made from plants are more sustainable than proteins from animal sources, as are proteins obtained by cell culture. Increasing the supply of proteins for human consumption through industrial processes with high added value that drastically reduce land and water use can make Brazil a protagonist in the global sustainable and safe protein scenario.
The increase in the proportion of business in alternative proteins by conventional protein companies can collaborate with the total goals of neutrality of emissions from industrial processes that are more efficient in the use of natural resources, taking advantage of the logistics of the global distribution of finished products that already exist.
3 - Label censorship
The growth of a market characterized by innovation, such as alternative proteins, brings to light the need to review and adapt concepts that no longer meet the reality of the food sector in the face of new products available to consumers. Therefore, we advocate that consumers can make informed purchasing decisions based on terms with which they are familiar so that they can choose adequate, safe, and healthy options, maintaining their eating habits and cultures.
4 - Alternative Proteins and the Forest: Bioeconomy Agenda with the State of Amazonas
Through a technical cooperation term, the Department of Economic Development, Science, Technology and Innovation of the State of Amazonas (SEDECTI) and The Good Food Institute Brazil established a work plan to support and articulate the creation of an ecosystem that attracts investment and encourage innovation in the sector of alternative proteins in the state, within the new bioeconomy agenda in the region.
Joint activities focus on developing a fertile environment for R&D and producing products and ingredients based on biodiversity while maintaining the forest healthy. In addition, actions are carried out to engage players in the sector and involve those interested in integrating this space, enabling new businesses, and creating new products.
The cooperation aims to use the region’s potential to promote local development, adding local value and the connection of producing communities and their consumers.
Read the study proposals for the regulation of the alternative proteins sector. The documents are based on bibliographic reviews, analyses of international regulatory frameworks, technical descriptions of cell culture technologies, and fermentation of vegetable proteins (plant-based).