Today (22nd November), the European Commission has published a report on the development of plant proteins in the EU.
We are extremely disappointed to find that the report does not adequately address the serious problems associated with industrial animal agriculture and its use of soya for feed.
At present just 5% of the soybeans used to feed animals - many of them confined in factory farms - are grown in Europe. As a result, we are hugely dependent on imports from Latin America where destruction of the rainforest to grow these crops, has a detrimental impact of the environment and wildlife.
There is significant potential to increase plant protein production in the EU and reduce imports from other countries. However, moving production to Europe without simultaneously questioning the high levels of animal feed required, is not a sustainable solution.
Less and better
A reduction in demand for protein feed can be achieved by moving away from intensive animal farming and transitioning to more plant based production - lowering total numbers of animals farmed. This is a necessary step to ensure food security across Europe.
Olga Kikou, our Head of Compassion EU, said: “It is disappointing that the Commission has failed to highlight the link between factory farming and increased demand for soya.
"In order to reduce this demand, the Commission need to be advocating changes at production and consumption level; changes in diets by reducing intake of animal products and a transition to agroecological farming practices.”