LIKE-A-PRO – Measuring the impacts of conventional and alternative proteins


LIKE-A-PRO is an EU-funded initiative aiming to accelerate the Food System Transition by diversifying and increasing the availability, accessibility, and uptake of alternative sources of protein. A substantial part of the initiative is researching the current dietary and consumption patterns of European citizens, and the impacts they yield on the environment, on human health, and on animal welfare.

Project description

Currently halfway through the project (June 2024), our participation has focused on measuring the impacts of five different types of conventional protein products: beef, pork, chicken, milk, and soy. The effects of these conventional proteins were measured in terms of seven environmental and four social impacts. The environmental impacts were soil pollution, water pollution, air pollution, contribution to climate change, scarce water use, land use, and fossil fuel depletion. The social impacts concerned the underearning of farmers, underpayment in the value chain, child labour, and animal welfare.

The impacts of each protein product were monetised, aggregated, and compared to the alternative protein products. In due course (when they have been fully developed and scaled) we will also measure the impacts of 7 alternative proteins (krill, cultivated mushroom, microbial protein, mealworms, rapeseed, fermented fungal protein and peas).

Benefits to the client

The project provided LIKE-A-PRO with a detailed and comprehensive overview of the many different types of impacts caused by each of the five proteins Europeans consume the most. Some notable findings of the research are:

  • Milk is the conventional protein with the lowest negative impact.
  • The negative impacts of soy stem from high-intensity land use
  • Chicken is the conventional protein with the highest impact on animal welfare.
  • Beef is the conventional protein that contributes to climate change the most.
  • The negative impact of pork is largely tied to feed production for farming.

The project is to run until 2026, but some results, including the impact analysis  is already available. Access the report here.

Want to learn more about how to join the alternative protein transition? Get in touch with our Food Transition Team.

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