Introducing the Protein Lab 2023

We are pleased to introduce our first project for 2023. Protein Lab comprises a series of one-day workshops where a number of experts will come together to discuss how our food system can transition towards cultivated meat and plant-based protein sources.

A broken system

Over the past 20 years, the annual per capita consumption of meat in Switzerland has only fallen slightly. It has stagnated at a high level of around 50 kilograms per person per year. This directly opposes the Federal government’s strategy of tackling emissions created in the agricultural sector and establishing new forms of sustainable food production to meet the goals set by the 2030 Agenda.

Improvements in technology and a growing awareness of the environmental impact of traditional meat production have given rise to a market for alternative protein solutions. Although some meat producers are jumping on this growing movement, many large and multinational players in the industry are still resisting progress in order to maintain their dominant market position.

But, they can’t hold on forever. New regulations are being introduced, especially in the EU. The implications for Switzerland are manifold. A study by the Boston Consulting Group in collaboration with Blue Horizon predicts that by 2035, 11% of protein consumed worldwide will come from ‘alternative protein sources.’

Our solution

This leads to the question: How can we address the systemic obstacles which stand in the way of a faster transition to alternative protein sources in Switzerland? The Protein Lab wants to find answers to this question. It follows the Social Innovation Laboratories model of change and will be a collaborative undertaking with Collaboratio Helvetica and the Bern University of Applied Sciences.

During a series of three single-day workshops, we will discuss the needs and future visions of the different players in the food system. The aim of these workshops will be to foster cooperation between different stakeholders (e.g., food scientists, animal advocates, farming representatives, private-sector actors, policymakers) within the food sector, and to understand how we might work together to speed up progress.

Although our Protein Lab project is, thankfully, already funded, we still need support for our core costs, including administrative expenses, salaries and other overheads. Right now, until 31 December, any contribution you make will be doubled by a generous donor, until we reach the target of 30,000 CHF. Therefore, please consider donating today to make your gift go further for animals.

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