Dear Ministers,

Today you are meeting in Brussels to discuss agriculture’s contribution to the European long-term strategic vision for a Clean Planet for all. This happens in the context of ongoing negotiations on the future of the CAP post 2020.

There is broad consensus over the fact that climate change is in part driven by what we eat and how our food is produced. The sustainability of our agricultural and food system is a political challenge that we have to tackle now and we have to work towards it together.

As the agri-food sectors involved in the processing of EU-grown agricultural raw materials into plant-based products and ingredients for the food and drinks markets mainly, we believe that plant-based food products offer great perspectives for farmers, the industry and society at large and therefore deserve greater support through EU policies.

Plant-based products have a lower environmental impact than animal-based products measured in terms of CO2 emissions, water use and land use. They are increasingly popular amongst consumers who are making conscious choices for an environmental-friendly lifestyle.

They are also nutritionally relevant as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Several EU Member States have included them in national dietary recommendations, for consumers to alternate between animal and plant-based source of proteins and fats.

Plant protein food products are a promising market for European farmers. As outlined in the Commission’s report on the development of plant proteins in the EU, cultivating plant-proteins for food brings highest profit margins for farmers.

To thrive and deliver on these promises not only for a few consumers but for the whole of Europe, the emerging plant-based sector needs to be able to compete on fair grounds. Plant-based food producers need to be able to continue to communicate clearly, in a non-misleading way with consumers to inform them about the variety of food choices.

The post 2020 CAP needs to embrace the plant-based evolution. We call on you to encourage and support the development of the plant-based food sector and work to ensure that farmers, the various sectors of the food industry and society can all benefit from it.

ENSA – The European Plant-based Foods Association
EUVEPRO – The European Vegetable Protein Association
IMACE – The European Margarine Association
StarchEurope – The European Starch Producers Association