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Getting consumers to massively consume pulses grown on a large scale in the Netherlands: it can be done within six years.
Editorial office / The Hague

That is what Wageningen University & Research, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the Southern Agriculture and Horticulture Organisation, Larive International B.V. and Next Food Collective claim, the five initiators of the master plan ‘Economically-Powered Protein Transition through Innovation in Chains’ (EPPIC). On behalf of these five initiators and 82 partners, an application for €96 million in funding has been submitted to the Dutch National Growth Fund.

Doubling intake

The ambition is to double the intake of pulses in the Netherlands by 2030. For farmers, growing crops high in plant proteins, such as soybeans, peas, field beans and lupins, must become more economically viable. To achieve this, yields per hectare must increase and plant and crop disease control must improve. The food industry needs knowledge to switch their production processes from imported soybeans to Dutch pulses. On the consumer side, it is all about bringing consumers into positive contact with plant proteins more often, and not just at the shelf of meat substitutes in the supermarket. Health aspects also receive attention in the research.

Multiple advantages

EPPIC brings together ongoing research and other existing initiatives and complements missing knowledge to accelerate the protein transition. The plan is expected to generate €2.6 billion in economic activity. Soy imports could be reduced by a third. There are also significant environmental benefits, including 640 million kg fewer CO2e emissions, 10 million kg less nitrogen and 7% less land use for food production. The knowledge gained will also be of value for the protein transition worldwide.

For more information, visit the Wageningen University & Research (WUR) website.

Image: lupin (Cyrustr/Shutterstock)