A common Nordic focus on alternative protein sources

The report "Ten trends for the sustainable bioeconomy in Nordic Arctic and Baltic Sea Region Responsible Organisation" highlights key trends to how bioeconomy can achieve a continued focus on becoming more sustainable as a region. 14 countries have given their input to the report, resulting in ten trends, of which five are specific ways to work within a bioeconomy. The other five are macrotrends – societal and technological trends influencing the development of the bioeconomy. To provide context for these trends, the report analyses several conditions that support the bioeconomy, as well as the expected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report highlights how alternative and new sources of proteins for food and animal feed are part of a relatively new field, and that research is being done in many areas. Protein-rich plants such as legumes and grasses, as well as insects and seaweed, are among the raw materials that have the potential to replace meat for human consumption and imported soya for animal feed. New protein sources perform well in the survey, primarily due to strong expectations among respondents of the environmental benefits of shifting to new protein sources.

Foods of Norway and centre leader Margareth Øverland has contributed to the report and was this week part of a panel of experts discussing the findings in the report.

- We in Foods of Norway are invited in as experts in the field of alternative protein resources in the blue and green sectors – I really enjoyed be part of the panel to discuss challenges and obstacles to develop a bioeconomy and solutions and policy initiative to ensure growth of the bioeconomy in Norway, says professor Øverland.

In the report, new, alternative protein sources score highly on value-creation potential, despite minimal market presence. The scores are mainly driven by the respondents’ strong expectations of the environmental benefits of shifting to new protein sources.

The background of the report: The development of a sustainable bioeconomy has never been more important. In times of climate change, a growing biodiversity crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a sustained focus on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the idea of an economy that is partly or wholly based on biological raw materials – grown and harvested within the carrying capacity of the ecosystem – has attracted growing political and commercial attention. Whether the ambition is to achieve growth with a smaller environmental footprint, create jobs and opportunities in rural areas, or build an economy that is less dependent on fragile global value chains, stakeholders are looking to the bioeconomy.


Published 27. November 2020 - 9:06 - Updated 27. November 2020 - 9:09