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UK Government Called to Invest £1 Billion in Alternative Proteins Amid Climate Crisis



Notable Figures Join the Campaign to Urge the UK to be a Global Leader in the Sustainable Food Sector

Business leaders, scientists, and activists have rallied together to urge the UK Government to invest £1 billion in the burgeoning alternative protein sector by 2030. This comes as an urgent call to both address the climate crisis and generate economic value in the post-pandemic landscape.


Open Letter to the Government


In a compelling open letter signed by a notable list of supporters—including former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, Eden Project's co-founder Sir Tim Smit, and multiple Nobel laureates—the Government is implored to seize the moment. They argue for the UK to become an early adopter in this rapidly evolving sector, thereby creating a multitude of employment opportunities, enhancing exports, and reducing dependency on imported food.


The letter outlines three key avenues of innovation in alternative proteins: precision fermentation, cultivated meat, and plant-based foods. The signatories warn of severe economic implications if Prime Minister Rishi Sunak does not act immediately.


A 'Moonshot Investment'


According to a report by ClimateWorks, the alternative protein sector has the potential to generate a gross value of up to $1.1 trillion and create 9.8 million jobs globally by 2050. The call for a 'moonshot investment' by the UK Government, therefore, is not merely a sustainable choice but also a potentially lucrative one.


Potential for Positive Impact


Investing in alternative proteins can help the UK reach its net-zero emissions goals and even positively affect the rising cost of living. Despite these potential benefits, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Therese Coffey recently showed reluctance toward sustainable meat alternatives at the Conservative Party Conference.


Countries like Singapore and the United States have already started commercializing cultivated and fermented proteins. The £1 billion suggested investment represents less than 5% of the £22 billion earmarked for combating the climate crisis through the UK Infrastructure Bank. "Alternative proteins must be given the same priority as other climate technologies like renewable energy," the open letter reads.


Future of Food in the UK


This public plea follows recent reports suggesting the UK's alt-protein sector could be worth over £6.8 billion per year and generate 25,000 jobs by 2035. The letter further adds to growing momentum after the UK government reportedly began accelerating the regulatory approval of cultivated meat to enhance food security and sustainability.


The coming years will show if the UK Government will heed this important call to invest in a future food source that not only promises to be sustainable but also has high economic growth potential.

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