Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], April 7 (ANI/Hunk Golden and Media): The Good Food Institute India (GFI India), the central expert organization, thought leader, and convening body in the 'smart protein' sector has called for a National Mission for Smart Protein on World Health Day 2022.
Smart protein - meat, egg, and dairy alternatives produced from plants and cell cultivation through food science - has the potential to solve pressing issues such as zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and food insecurity, while also being vastly better for planetary health.
Underlying smart protein's benefits for personal, public, and planetary health, GFI India has conveyed a crucial message: that simply diversifying the source of our protein- from animal-derived sources to 'smart' alternatives - could help us prevent future pandemics and public health crises. With their call for a National Mission for Smart Protein, GFI India has worked with key stakeholders in the ecosystem including government, industry, and academia, towards a comprehensive action plan to help build a more sustainable, secure, and just future of food.
Varun Deshpande, Managing Director, Good Food Institute India said, "As COVID-19 restrictions across India ease, we cannot afford a return to business as usual. World Health Day is the perfect time to think about building back better and safeguarding public and planetary health - and nowhere is this truer than in our protein supply. Smart protein has the potential to stave off climate change, malnutrition, and future public health crises, and build a more thriving, resilient economy for our growing population. With the support of key government agencies such as NITI Aayog, FSSAI, and the Ministries of Agriculture, Science & Technology, and Food Processing Industries, a National Mission for Smart Protein would build a globally competitive, strategically important pillar of India's new green economy. With a concrete road map and strong partnerships, GFI India will continue working with government and industry partners to realize this mission."
The smart protein sector in India is rapidly growing, with dozens of companies launching and scaling in the plant-based proteins landscape, and several more forming in the fermentation-derived and cultivated protein categories. For instance, 'plant-based meats' made from crops such as peas, mung beans, millets, soy, and other nutritious ingredients provide a simple switch for meat-eaters who want to move away from the environmental footprint of conventional meat.
Companies like Neeraj Chopra-endorsed Good Dot, Virat Kohli & Anushka Sharma-endorsed Blue Tribe Foods, and Riteish and Genelia Deshmukh-founded Imagine Meats are producing delicious plant-based kebabs, keemas, biryanis, sausages, and samosas, driving consumer fascination with the category, and enabling conscious consumption at large scale. A burgeoning ecosystem of over 70 players across ingredients, manufacturing, and agri-integration is also coming together to support these fast-growing categories. But while the global smart protein sector has attracted over USD 11 billion in investment over the last decade, only a tiny fraction of this has come in India - indicating a major opportunity for homegrown startups to grow into a global market valued at over USD 1 trillion over the next decades.
Varun added, "It's an incredibly exciting time for the plant-based sector in India - it's safe to say that 2021 and 2022 are plant-based meats' breakout years. We're seeing a lot of work over the last few years with plant-based startups and bigger corporations alike coming to fruition as they begin to enter the market. With major platforms like Amazon Fresh and Swiggy's Instamart helping to scale plant-based products, it's now easier than ever for consumers to access foods that provide all the sensory and cultural resonance of the meats we know and love, without breaking the planet or contributing to future public health risks. But building a thriving industry demands coordinated action across business, science, and policy in the form of a National Mission for Smart Protein. We need strong support for R&D, entrepreneurship, infrastructure investment, regulation, and talent development, to accelerate this sunrise sector."
The Good Food Institute India (GFI India) is the central expert organization, thought leader, and convening body in the Indian 'alternative protein' or 'smart protein' sector. As part of an international network of nonprofits with partners in the U.S., Brazil, Israel, and Asia Pacific, GFI India is on a mission to build a secure, sustainable, and just global food system. With unique insight across science, business, and policy, we are using the power of food innovation and markets to accelerate the transition of our food system toward alternative proteins. In building the sector from the ground up in India, we're aiming to establish a model for its growth all across the developing world.
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Twitter: @GoodFoodIndia | Instagram: @goodfoodinstituteindia |LinkedIn: The Good Food Institute India
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