METRO became a founding member of the Association for Alternative Protein Sources BALPro

  • METRO became a founding member of the Association for Alternative Protein Sources BALPro (key-visual_verband-fur-alternative-proteinquellen.jpg)

The international wholesale and food specialist METRO became a founding member of the Association for Alternative Protein Sources BALPro which has been officially operating since March 2019.

The association with the headquarter in Düsseldorf consolidates over 30 players from trade, industry, science and research. It aims to bring transparency and clarity into the often emotional but one-sided debate about animal protein sources and their alternatives such as insects or cultured meat.

Among the members of BALPro are Rügenwalder Mühle, Bugfoundation, Plumento Foods GmbH, Merck Gruppe, Air Liquide, Atlantic Food Labs, Zeitgeist Ventures, Givaudan, Veganz, LegenDairy Foods GmbH, Prolupin GmbH and other food industry representatives.

"With our experts, we put together objective information on aspects such as production ecology, ethics and profitability. Our goal is to translate these into an understandable language for the public”, explains co-founder of BALPro, Philanthropist & Food Expert Sebastian Biedermann.

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Bugfoundation produces Germany's first insect burger made of buffaloworms and organic soy.

Image Credit: Bugfoundation

Biedermann, came up with an idea to create a new association together with Fabio Ziemßen, Director Food Innovation at NX-FOOD, about a year ago. Both of them represent the executive board of BALPro.

"We have recognized that companies that deal with alternative foods such as plant-based products simply lack a political voice," explains Biedermann the origin of the idea.

"Young founders are busy with their core business and have hardly any time for political advocacy and long grant applications, they lack resources for research and development. But these companies are important for the progress of the entire food industry. They think big and turn niche products into common goods. They are the drivers of innovation."

"Alternative sources of protein have the potential to change the food industry sustainably and have already proven being a very successful in international markets. That's why we should keep promoting this hot topic in Germany and strengthen our position as food market pioneers,” notes Fabio Ziemßen.

"The areas of venture capital and investment in food innovation are relatively underdeveloped in Germany. It is almost impossible to scale promising product ideas with little or no capital," he adds.

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Prolupin GmbH produces food ingredients from regional Sweet Lupine - plant-based source of protein. The Lupine Protein Isolate (LPI) contains more than 90 per cent protein in dry matter.

Image Creator: Sten Britt

By 2050, Earth will be home to 10 billion people. As concentrated supply of proteins from animal sources put increasing pressure on resources and the climate, many food innovators and research scientists are focused on the development of alternative proteins. These include not only insect proteins, but also plant sources like algae or fungi, as well as meat cultivated under laboratory conditions.

What all the alternatives have in common is that they require a great deal of explanation. One of the central focuses of BALPro's association work is therefore to provide consumers and the public with transparent and open information.

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