EU Protein Plan

EU protein self-sufficiency is a long-standing issue that has been on the EU agenda for several decades already. Recently political focus on EU dependency on imported proteins has sharpened in the context of the Green Deal objectives.  

The renewed interest in an EU protein plan was introduced by the former EU Agricultural Commissioner Phil Hogan in 2017 as a reaction to the EU soy declaration that was signed by 14 farm ministers and which highlighted the need to increase production of home-grown protein crops in order to tackle the EU protein deficit. The main purpose of the EU Protein Plan is to identify consumer demand for proteins and which range of measures could increase competitiveness of EU protein crops. Some of the possible policy options were listed in the EC´report on development of plant proteins in the EU). 

An independent expert report analysed the possible policy solutions (e.g. Market developments and policy evaluation aspects of the plant protein sector in the EU) .

The  European Commission first published a comprehensive  EU Feed Protein Balance Sheets in 2019, covering all sources of feed proteins used for animal feeding in the EU. The detailed analysis clearly shows that the EU self-sufficiency is at a very high level of 80% of its total feed protein requirements, including the production of forages accounting for approx. 45 % of total feed protein usage. DG AGRI categorised feed materials per protein content range (low-pro 0-15%, mid-pro 15-30%, high-pro 30-50% and super-pro ›50% crude protein levels) reflecting market practices, thus clarifying that the EU is only reliant on imports for feed materials in the high-pro segment (29% self sufficiency). This deficit is to a large extent covered by imports of soybean meal.