The Protein Challenge 2040 is a new initiative aimed at improving the sustainability of protein production. Supported by leading international businesses and NGOs, this is the world’s first collaboration across the protein system that addresses the question: How can we feed nine billion people enough protein in a way that is healthy, affordable and good for the environment?
Behind The Protein Challenge 2040 are many leading organisations including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Firmenich, The Hershey Company, Quorn, Target, Volac and Waitrose. Forum for the Future is the independent convenor, bringing 20 years of expertise in running multi-stakeholder collaborations and futures techniques.
It is the first partnership to bring together representatives from animal, plant and alternative protein industries to understand the protein system’s challenges, identify a common way forward and come up with new solutions together.
Through in-depth research and work with food, nutrition, health and technology experts across the world, the coalition has mapped the interrelationships within the entire protein system for the first time.
It has pinpointed six areas for innovation, which the group will take immediate action on to meet future demand sustainably. These are:
- Increasing the proportion of plant-based protein consumption with consumers
- Scaling up a sustainable feed innovation to meet the demand for animal protein
- Closing the protein nutrient loop (for example, reducing waste rich in protein by finding new ways to feed it back into the production cycle)
- Developing indigenous plants as protein sources for local communities
- Scaling up sustainable aquaculture for food and animal feed
- Restoring soil health
In the aquaculture category, the project aims by 2040 to have radically improved the sustainability of the aquaculture industry, in a way which minimizes environmental impact, ensures good livelihoods and provides a healthy source of protein – particularly for populations suffering from a protein deficit.
Stephanie Draper, Deputy CEO of Forum for the Future, said: “Past debates around the protein system have been extremely polarising, but to make effective progress we need to move beyond that and work together. At Forum we believe that collaborative action is essential in order to address complex issues that no one entity – whether a consumer group, NGO, business or government – can tackle alone. We’re delighted that leaders across the different protein industries are ready and willing to come to a consensus, and are excited to help steer them forward through this unique and growing partnership.”
The coalition is now looking for additional partners with resources, expertise and drive to take action in these areas together.
Read The Protein Challenge 2040 summary report and get involved here.