Author: Alice Grahame

Alice Grahame is a freelance writer based in London. She's worked for the BBC, Guardian and various NGOs. She enjoys walking, allotment gardening and trying new plant-based dishes.

Plant Based Treaty: Putting Food Systems at the Forefront of Tackling Climate Change

Over 1000 businesses across all continents have endorsed the Plant-Based Treaty. In less than two years almost 400 companies in Europe, and over 300 in the US have signed up. These include many household names familiar to the Plant Based World community such as Vivera, Tofurkey, Heura and Bosh!

Launched in August 2021, the treaty is a grassroots campaign to putfood systems at the forefront of tackling climate change. Local governments can endorse the treaty in the same way they can declare a climate emergency. It is not legally binding but is a commitment to supporting plant-based initiatives such as carbon labelling, meat-free menus, and creating a pathway for growing plant-based eating. 

The treaty is modelled on the Fossil Fuel Treaty which addressed the Paris Agreement’s and subsequent COPs’ failure to include the phasing out of fossil fuels in written agreements. The plant based Treaty team were active at COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh in November 2022, calling on world leaders to begin a sustainable and just transition this decade to avert climate catastrophe. At the previous COP 26 in Glasgow they published a free guide to vegan food in Glasgow for delegates and visitors.  

Nicola Harris, Director of Communications for Plant Based Treaty says she is delighted that so many companies are on board. She explained that the campaign grew from local to international level organically: “We are from the animal save movement and set this up as a standalone campaign. It meant we could leverage our network of activists around the world. That’s how we’ve been able to spread to all continents through our existing network.  

We send letters to businesses and go onto the High Street door to door and speak to owners about the plant-based treaty. Many of these now display posters to promote it. With the big companies: Tofurkey, Vivera and Linda McCartney foods, they just endorsed the treaty themselves without any contact from us. We have been getting quite a bit of media coverage and good reach on social media, and word has been getting around. So that has attracted support.”  

It is not just vegan businesses that are endorsing the treaty: “McCartney foods is vegetarian, not fully vegan, but there is an acknowledgement that we need to shift in that direction. With endorsements from individuals less than half of signers are vegan. Many are omnivores and sign because they know that things must change and are happy to sign as part of their journey to change their diet.”  

Businesses are also crucial as partners and ambassadors for spreading the word. “We really love partnering with businesses and are always looking for new partnerships. We have a partnership with vegan review app Happy Cow, and they’ve helped promote the treaty through their network. We’ve partnered with Veg Fest in the UK, and they’ve helped us with newsletters, and invited us to talk on panels. Then equally we’ve helped promote their events. Ethical Tee Company is another example. They have helped us with getting merchandise printed and their owner has become one of our ambassadors, reaching out to businesses and celebrities.” 

A major focus has been getting regional and city governments on board, with 20 towns and cities around the world signing up so far. The biggest US city to sign is Los Angeles, where the city council unanimously passed a resolution to endorse the treaty in October 2022. In India 15 cities have signed up. In January 2023 Edinburgh became the first European capital city to join the campaign.  

City endorsement has great potential to engage businesses in the movement even further. As cities make plans for implementing the treaty the expertise of plant-based businesses will be needed to enable the transition.  

Nicola Harris explains: “Edinburgh City Council is now looking at implementation and how to transition their catering services, to make plant-based food more accessible in council buildings, universities, schools, care homes and at public events. Edinburgh has more than 120 schools so just changing that sector will make a big impact. They want their catering companies to provide more plant-based options on a budget and we’ve been talking to them about offering training for caterers, so it is an opportunity for plant-based entrepreneurs with that knowledge to get involved.” 

There are plenty of good reasons why all plant-based businesses should support the treaty. It is a way of demonstrating strong values and doing something practical about the climate emergency. Nicola Harris adds: “By banding together we’ve got much more power and influence. We see that with animal agriculture, that they have lobbies and they’re very powerful, because they work together. If plant-based businesses can team up and have a louder voice, it’s going to help influence things in Parliament. For any plant-based businesses not already on board please get in touch and arrange a meeting and find out how you can support us.”  

Plant Milk Labels, Miyoko Leadership Change, Yeast Meat and More

We have scoured all the news outlets to bring you the most important stories from plant-based businesses across the globe. Here are the top stories from the last couple of weeks.   

Plant Milk Labels 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says plant milks can be called milk, under new proposed guidance. But they must explain the nutritional difference between plant milk and dairy. The guidance acknowledges that consumers understand that plant milk isn’t dairy but recommend plant milks display a label clarifying the difference.   

Company News 

Miyoko’s Leadership Change  

Leading vegan cheese company Miyoko’s Creamery has announced the departure of founder and CEO Miyoko Schinner. Business Wire reports that the founder and company have parted ways as the company enters a new stage of growth. Company CFO Jon Blair has taken the role of interim President.  

Kellogg Keeps Plant-based Range 

The US Food Giant is keeping its plant-based offering rather than separating it into a new independent company. Plant-Based represents 2% of the company’s net sales. Kellogg owns the meat-alternative brand Morning Star Farms and Incogmeato.  

Impossible New Products  

The California food producer has just launched three new chicken items. The nuggets, patties and tenders will be sold frozen in supermarkets across the US. Green Queen reports that Impossible Foods directors say growth is solid, with retail sales up 55%, and strong performance in foodservice and other sectors.  

Fazer Drops Dairy  

Finnish producer Fazer is ending dairy production to focus on oat drinks and products. In a press release the firm, whose products include chocolate, confectionery and baked goods, said it will stop dairy operations at its Koria plant by August 2023. It said the change “will enable the company to focus on the plant-based core business, in which the Koria factory plays an important role in the future.”  

Danone’s Non-Dairy Nutrition Drink  

Danone’s Nutricia nutrition drinks business has created a plant-based medical nutrition drink. Following three years of development it has launched Fortimel Plant Based Energy, a ready-to-drink supplement aimed at those with medical malnutrition who avoid dairy. 

Market Reports 

Vegan Yogurt  

The global vegan yogurt market is expected to be worth $2.1 Billion by 2027, according to a report. The category is predicted to show growth of 18.11% between 2021 and 2027.   

Scaling Up 

Expansion For Olive and Melon Seed Cheese  

Spanish vegan cheese brand Vacka has won funding worth €1.1 Million to expand its products made from olive oil and fermented melon seeds. Vegconomist reports that funders included Capital V, Big Idea Ventures, Leanox Venture capital and private investors. Last year Vacka achieved a turnover of €285,000 with a sales increase of 300%  

New Factory For Brewer’s Yeast Meat  

Californian company Planetarians has raised $6 million to build a factory for its innovative vegan meat. The company uses spent brewer’s yeast from beer production and soy flakes from the vegetable oil industry to make vegan whole cuts. Veg News reports that funders include Mindrock, Traction Fund and beer giant AB InBev who already collaborates with Planetarians on upcycling brewer’s yeast.  

 NH Foods Develops Plant-Based Seafood  

Leading Japanese food manufacturer NH Foods has developed plant-based seafood. The supplier of meat and fish has spent a year creating fish fries and popcorn shrimp from soya beans with seaweed extracts. The company says it wants to expand plant-based protein pre-cooked foods.  

Retail and Foodservice  

Cambridge Students Vote For Plant-Based Food 

Students at Cambridge University have voted to transition to vegan catering. The students’ union decision was backed by 72% of voters. It follows campaigning by Plant Based Universities, a nationwide initiative calling for universities to introduce plant-based food.  

Veggie Grill Franchise Opportunities  

Vegan burger restaurant chain Veggie Grill will be franchising its model and is reaching out to entrepreneurs  seeking a franchise opportunity. The California-based 35-branch eatery will be launching franchise deals and says it will provide comprehensive training and support for franchisees.  

Ikea Declares End to Dairy  

Swedish retailer Ikea says it aims to remove or replace dairy across its stores. The company also says it plans to make all its main meals in its restaurants 50 percent plant-based by 2025. 

Brand Stories: Palm Oil Replacement Made From Potato Peelings

What if instead of palm oil, a multi-purpose food-safe oil could be made from food waste like potato peelings from the crisp industry? That is precisely what UK start-up Sun Bear Bioworks is doing right now.

The company uses precision fermentation to produce an alternative oil. It has the potential for all the same applications as palm oil: food, cosmetics, and biofuels. The company is motivated by the need to cut the environmental impact of palm oil and the commercial opportunities that a replacement would bring. 

They have just achieved funding of £500,000 from Unruly Capital with backing from Tiny VC and Plug and Play. The money will be used for scaling the lab team and developing more strategic partnerships to validate the viability of the oil, which is produced using yeast. 

The company is named after the sun bear, the world’s smallest bear, which is critically endangered. Due largely to palm oil plantations, fewer than 1000 sun bears are left in the wild. CEO Ben Wilding explains: “We wanted a name that keeps us laser-focused on why we are doing this. 90% of palm oil is produced in Malaysia and Indonesia which has led to deforestation in those regions. That has had a massive impact on biodiversity and wildlife including the sun bear. So every time we say the name, it jogs our memory as to why we’re here.”  

The team uses precision fermentation, the same process being trialled for plant-based dairy, to make the oil. Ben Wilding describes it as like brewing: “We use yeast that naturally produces tiny amounts of oil that closely resembles bleached, deodorised (RBD) palm oil. In palm oil production the fruit is milled and processed into a thick orange crude palm oil that is refined into RBD oil for use in different products. The magic that we bring to the table is that we perform gene editing on the yeast so it can make enough oil to make it commercially viable. We can add different feedstocks such as sugar or starch. We are currently researching potato peel and have partners in the potato industry including a crisp manufacturer. 25% of each potato is lost when put through an industrial peeler – so they have tonnes to spare.”  

The company comprises five staff – three founders and two junior research assistants, based at the Bio Innovation Hub in Oxford. The company has benefited from support and funding from the Carbon 13 accelerator programme. The scheme brought together 71 environmental innovators in Cambridge who spent six weeks discussing ideas and opportunities. Ben Wilding recalls: “At the teambuilding stage I met the other founders Ben Williams and Laura van Marrewijk.  We were really excited about precision fermentation and spent two months developing a business idea and pitching it to Carbon 13. We founded the company officially in 2022. We were chosen to receive an investment of £120,000 from Carbon 13. We have also won five other grants which have created an extra £120,000. We are excited to now have £500,000 to take our business to the next stage.” 

Sun Bear Bioworks has made small quantities in the lab and expects to scale up to produce 50-litre batches by summer 2023. It will then take a couple of years to get a license to sell to consumers. Cosmetics has a lower barrier to entry so might be a starting point although the main goal is food as that is where 70% of palm oil is used. Globally Singapore, Israel and the US are progressive in terms of food innovation and might offer quicker entry to the market. There has been a lot of interest from food producers including big global manufacturers with production facilities. Sun Bear Bioworks is particularly keen to work with plant-based meat companies. Ben Wilding adds: “We see them as ideal partners because many benefit from the functional qualities of palm oil but avoid it because their customers won’t accept it for environmental reasons. So they have a problem that we can solve. They can find us at”  

Palm oil is a $70 billion industry and is expected to grow to $100 billion by 2030. The oil has been used in food and cosmetics since the 1970s and since then, annual global production has grown from 2 million tonnes to 70 million tonnes. There are solid reasons why it is a ubiquitous ingredient. Cost is a big factor but also qualities that give it an edge over other oils. Ben Wilding points out: “As a commodity, it has the highest yield of any edible oil. To produce any other type, you need between five and seven times more land. Olive oil uses a lot more land and a lot more water. Another benefit is that it is odourless and tasteless, so it works well behind the scenes as a functional ingredient. It is semi-solid, which means it doesn’t melt at room temperature and can be used in margarine, for frying and in salad dressings. Palm oil is used in over 200 derivative products so for us to have an impact on the environment we need a replacement capable of making those derivatives.”  

Palm oil production comes at a heavy price, with the destruction of tropical rainforests and the species that inhabit them. The palm oil industry produces over 500 million tonnes of carbon annually. Sun Bear Bioworks estimates their process at scale would enable an 80% reduction in carbon impact on the environment than palm oil production. In December 2022 the EU created a new law banning products connected with deforestation. So companies like Sun Bear Bioworks, that address the urgent need for an alternative to palm oil, are more important than ever. 

Allergies and Intolerances – The Risks and Opportunities For Plant-Based Businesses

Allergies and intolerances present both risks and opportunities for plant-based businesses, according to leading plant-based food safety expert Heather Landex. The former UK food safety auditor, now a food safety consultant is both vegan and dairy intolerant. She advises food sector professionals including plant-based companies on allergies and is the author of the best-selling restauranteurs’ guide Inclusive is the New Exclusive: How the Food Industry can Stop Leaving Money on the Table. 

She argues that by understanding allergies plant-based companies in foodservice and manufacturing can both keep clientele safe and build a loyal customer base.  

In her ten-part blog How Not to Kill Your Customers Accidentally she sets out key areas that foodservice operators need to consider to prevent harm to diners. It contains insights she gained from a decade of advising thousands of food professionals in several countries, auditing and inspecting restaurants and hotels. It includes the importance of making sure all waiting staff are fully trained in allergies, the dangers of stereotyping or miscommunicating, and the problems of cross-contamination caused by toasters and tea towels that transmit food debris. A classic example in foodservice is a pizza restaurant where toppings are laid out in dishes side-by-side. There is a high chance that traces of cheese will find their way into the other toppings.    

She told us: “a lot of people think vegan food is dairy-free when it isn’t at all. It is very dangerous for the allergic community. One problem is that consumers are buying plant-based for a range of reasons – some ethical, some dietary, and some both. Some went vegan because of a milk allergy, which is one of the most common and deadly food allergies and then learnt about animal welfare and the environment. So their need is for dairy-free as well as plant-based. Some are allergic to eggs, fish, shellfish, or meat proteins. The custom of people with those diverse requirements is a big opportunity for plant-based businesses. Despite vegans and people with allergies being a minority of overall consumers, if you can appeal to these customers, they are likely to be loyal and committed to your brand and recommend it to other people from the same community.”  

Heather Landex is more qualified than most to comment. She herself was hospitalised with a suspected milk allergy after eating a vegan hotel breakfast. She discovered that she had multiple allergies, and milk and egg contamination in vegan products is extremely common. As a food safety expert, she knew this in theory but now has practical evidence that choosing a vegan option is no protection against unexpected allergens.  

As the plant-based food sector has scaled up there are many new dishes and ingredients on supermarket shelves described as vegan, vegetarian, or non-dairy. While this is great for vegans and people wanting to reduce their consumption of animal products it can also cause confusion and danger to those with allergies and intolerances. These customers can be drawn to plant-based items as they appear to be healthier and safer options. Many consumers wrongly believe that something labelled vegan or plant-based will be free from animal-origin allergens, not realising those labels provide no guarantee that a food is safe. For example, an ice cream labelled on the front as non-dairy could be assumed to be dairy-free ice cream, while the ingredients list at the back says it may contain milk. This means plant-based food producers and restaurant staff need to be more aware of the dangers that may be hidden in their products, and how to best communicate the risks. 

Sadly unclear labelling can and does lead to illness and even death.  

According to the World Allergy Organisation (WAO) allergies are very common, affecting more than 20% of the population in most developed countries. The WAO estimates that allergy prevalence in populations by country ranges between 10 – 40%. In the US More than 50 million people experience allergies each year and they are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness. Allergies are responsible for approximately 30,000 emergency department visits and 150–200 deaths each year. In the EU more than 150 million suffer from chronic allergic diseases and the current prediction is that by 2025 half of the entire EU population will be affected. In the UK 44% of adults and 50% of children have one or more allergies. In the UK and other territories, The 14 most common allergens must be emphasised within the ingredients list of pre-packed food or drink. In 2021 the UK passed Natasha’s Law, which extended the regulation to include food pre-packed for direct sale. Restaurants and cafes must also have allergen information available.   

Even with regulation labelling can still cause considerable confusion, with terms such as vegan, plant-based, may-contain and dairy free sometimes used interchangeably. Heather Landex says the lack of clarity causes problems for consumers and producers alike: “Something can be certified as vegan but not be suitable for people with a dairy allergy because it might contain traces of dairy. If you take the Vegan Society accreditation they will accept may contain and trace because otherwise there would be a shortage of vegan products with a vegan label, and because unintentional contamination does not increase the demand for animal products. So a vegan product can contain a small amount of dairy or egg and still be allowed to be called vegan. But the average consumer might assume a higher standard of allergy friendliness. The UK Food Standards Agency encourages the use of the label may contain. A free from claim can only be made following rigorous testing which is costly. This has led to supermarkets holding only limited ranges of free from items and customers paying more for those items. Concerns about risks have also led to discrimination against people with allergens in restaurants – with some being refused service. Heather Landex believes that this is an area where plant-based establishments could take a lead and provide an inclusive environment, giving them both an ethical and commercial advantage.   

While the plant-based sector benefits from the custom of those with allergies and intolerances It needs to skill up to meet the needs of this significant market. So how can plant-based food professionals include allergic customers in their customer base and keep everyone safe and healthy?   

Plant-based businesses are naturally wary of taking on the extra responsibility of reaching out to allergic customers. That is why Heather Landex works directly with brands and foodservice providers to navigate the regulations and concerns: “As well as training health and safety assessors’ associations and consultants so that they can help businesses, I work directly with hotels, restaurants, and brands. Because they are plant-based it is important that they understand allergies and can make their food safe so that they can serve this wider market and avoid unnecessary liability.”   

Beam Available in The UAE, Grass Protein, Plant-based on Campus and Market Reports

We’ve been tracking the news for the best plant-based stories. From news outlets across the globe and our own industry insiders – here are the most interesting and relevant news stories from the last couple of weeks.   

Veganuary Effect  

Organisers say the annual January challenge broke all records. More than 700,000 officially signed up, from almost every country in the world. In the UK a YouGov survey found that 4% of brits participated, and that overall 9% have participated since the challenge began a decade ago. The growth of Veganuary was food for thought around plant-based investment in a column by Moira O’Neill in the Financial Times.  

Market Reports – predicted growth in plant-based foods 


The vegan egg substitute market is predicted to grow at rate of 39% by 2028, according to a new report from Market Intelligence Data. The study says the increase is driven by concerns about food safety, and that the use of antibiotics and hormones are driving consumers to plant-based substitutes. As a result some food companies are phasing out or reducing the use of eggs in their supply chain and switching to plant-based alternatives.  

Protein Shakes   

Health concerns are also driving the growth of vegan protein shakes. Digital Journal reports that industry analysis found that consumers embracing healthy lifestyle are driving the adoption of vegan shakes.  

Vegan Chocolate 

The vegan chocolate market is set to surpass $1975.2 million, with a growth rate of 15%, by 2028 according to Vantage Market Research. The most popular category is bars, with demand driven by teenagers and employees at work leading the trend in plant-based snacking. Awareness of environmental issues, animal cruelty and health are cited as factors in the trend.  

Research and Development 

Grass Protein 

The rumour that vegans eat grass could become reality, as grass is being trialled as an ingredient in plant-based meat. Food Ingredients First says Schouten Europe and Grassa are researching the potential of grass protein to replace soy in meat substitutes. According to Grassa’s director, grass produces 2.5 times as much protein per hectare as soy and could soon be made into human food.  

UK’s First Cultivated Pork Steak  

UK scientists have produced the world’s first cultivated pork steak. The cut was made from pig cells by Newcastle-based biotech start-up 3D BioTissues. This report is from Food Manufacture.  

Scaling Up  

Cultivated Meat in China  

Green Queen reports on the development of the first cultivated meat plant in mainland China. Start-up CellX and manufacturer Tofflon have agreed a partnership to scale-up cultivated meat in the Asian market with the new factory. Building has already started, and manufacturing is expected to start in mid-2023.  

 Omni Dog Food 

Vegan dog food Omni has reached its crowdfunding target of nearly $500k according to Pet Business World. The company surpassed its goal within 15 minutes of going live on the Seedrs platform, the fasted ever success in the dog food category.   

New School Foods Plant-Based Salmon  

New School Foods has secured $12 million of seed funding to build a pilot plant for its plan-based fish. Food Dive says funders include Lever VC, Hatch, Good Startup and Blue Horizon Ventures. The company is developing realistic plant-based fish fillets using a freezing process instead of extrusion.   

Algae ingredients  

French company Algama, making algae-based ingredients has achieved investments worth $13 million, according to the Fish Site. Their most promising product is Tamalga, designed to be a replacement for eggs in baking.  



Ukranian start-up GreenGo is expanding its tofu-based cheese production despite the ongoing war. Food Ingredients First says the business is planning a new factory close to the Polish border to enable it to ship products to the EU and beyond. The company also makes plant-based seafood and steak from a mixture of pea protein, wheat, and soya.  

Meati Mushroom Factory 

A “MegaRanch” that farms mushrooms instead of cows has opened in the US. Millions of pounds of mycelium-based meat will be produced every year by Colorado-based Meati in the new facility. This from Plant based News 

 Rebellyous Nuggets 

Plant-based nugget brand Rebellyous has raised $9.5 million for a new manufacturing system, according to Food Dive’s reporter Megan Poinski. Rebellyous aims to produce inexpensive convenient comfort food that undercuts chicken on price. Founder, CEO and former Boeing engineer Christie Lagally told Food Dive: “Such a huge majority of consumers will totally replace their chicken if they can just get that price point there,” 

Every Co Egg Alternative 

Plant Based News reports that actor Anne Hathaway is among the investors in plant-based egg. She is putting up an undisclosed amount into the San Francisco-based EVERY Co that uses precision fermentation to create egg protein without chickens. The company has raised $230 million in total.  

Retail and foodservice  

Juicy Marbles in UK supermarket 

Juicy Marbles steaks have gone on sale in UK supermarket Waitrose. The Slovenian-based start-up, founded by microbiologist Luka Sincek, makes ultra-realistic high protein mock-meat that is bought raw and caramelises like animal flesh when cooked. In November 2021 the company raised $4.5 million seed funding to produce the steak.  

Beam Available in The UAE  

Allergen-free plant-based snack bars from Northern Ireland’s Bream brand are now on sale in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The range are available in stores run by Spinneys, Grandiose and Waitrose in the region.  

Plant-Based on Campus 

Vegan restaurants are making their way into university campuses, as students increasingly look for plant-based options. According to Veg News Bryant University in Rhode Island will be home to a branch of Plant City X, and Georgia Tech in Atlanta will be home to a Slutty Vegan at its John Lewis Student Center. Slutty Vegan is reported to have secured $25 million in investments to expand across several states.  

Brand Stories: Chef-Quality Plant Meats Created for Foodservice

According to Mintel data, in the UK around 41% of consumers are either meat or poultry-free or are actively reducing meat and poultry consumption. With diners expecting more and better plant-based options, restauranteurs and caterers are increasingly seeking more appetising, hearty, and realistic meat-alternatives to satisfy the demands of not just vegans but, vegetarians, flexitarians, and reducitarians too.  

[MOCK]® is designed for those chefs, caterers, and consumers wanting more realistic and tastier plant-based meat options. They are focused on attracting (and already winning) those creating international cuisine such as South American, Pan Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. [Mock] is currently in UK restaurants Megan’s, Cocotte, Butchies and Moka and Boojum in Ireland.  

The enthusiastic appetite for the realistic cuts was evidenced by the repeat queues for [MOCK]® samples at the Plant Based World Expo in London, where the [MOCK]® Lamb won Best Whole Cut Product at the Plant Based Taste Awards. 

[MOCK]® CEO Harpreet Gill explains: “We create plant-based meat alternatives that are versatile and easy to cook. Our aim is to empower chefs to be more creative and go beyond convention, really wowing their customers with something completely new.” 

There are currently two ranges – naked and vegan fried chicken. The naked range includes lamb and chicken pieces. Their vegan fried chicken range includes a 100g fillet burger, popcorn chicken and chicken drumsticks, all triple battered in their signature spice blend and crunchy just like traditional fried chicken.  

[MOCK] have been collaborating with Irish high street restaurant, Boojum, for Veganuary this year. The Mexican chain have created the [MOCK]® Alt Pastor, described as smoky and sweet, with mild chilli heat. Rob Powell, Head of Operations at Boojum said of the collaboration: “[MOCK]® has been a fantastic product to experiment with. After months of product development and recipe refinement, we are confident that the [MOCK]® Alt Pastor is our best plant-based dish to date.” Customers have agreed, with social media response being strong and calls for the dish to remain a permanent feature on Boojum’s menu. 

All [MOCK]® products are Vegan Certified and deliver high levels of protein. Their products are available through foodservice distributors in the UK and Ireland and will soon also be available in the EU.  

 Like most of the foodservice industry [MOCK]®’s biggest challenge so far has been managing the pandemic period. Covid resulted in a complete foodservice shutdown, increasing stress on supply chains and adding to a huge rise in costs, which have been difficult to navigate. However, the product has proved extremely popular with early customers and the business has continued to thrive in downturn.  

To find out more visit or search for [MOCK] with distributors. Get in touch via [email protected] and follow them on socials: Instagram @mock_uk and LinkedIn [MOCK] 

Government Support Drives Plant-Based Innovation in Denmark

Denmark is well known for its traditional non-plant-based produce, with bacon, butter and cheeses exported throughout the world. However, Denmark is fast becoming a leader in plant-based foods thanks to government support for innovation that includes investment and solution-focused partnerships between the government, the private sector and NGOs.  

Danes are typically meat lovers, with less than 1% of the population identifying as vegan and only 2.3% as vegetarian. But there is evidence of a willingness to change. In November 2022 a University of Copenhagen study asked 3000 Danes about their eating habits. While 80% of respondents said they had eaten meat the night before, 43% said they were reducing meat consumption. Getting consumers to turn those good intentions into daily eating habits is a challenge that the government is taking on. They have introduced a range of initiatives backed up with funding, to help businesses make plant-based food that is tasty, convenient, and affordable for Danish families.  

The government is motivated by a desire to encourage Danes to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. The political majority is in favour of a green transition and is committed to a 70% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. A binding agreement was endorsed by all parties in October 2021. Promoting plant-based eating is a central element of this goal and the government has a national strategy with clear targets. It has committed €160million to support and develop plant-based food – one of the biggest public investments in the sector globally. It will give Farmers a financial incentive to grow plant-based protein crops for human consumption. The government is also funding support for fermentation and cultivated meats. Other initiatives include reduced VAT on fruit and vegetables and developing carbon labelling to help consumers choose food with a lower impact on the climate, the first country to do so. At the time of writing the labelling is in the design stage with discussions about whether a traffic light system or a best-in-class model for different categories would be most effective.  

As well as finance there are structures and organisations that support the growth of the plant-based sector. The Danish Agriculture and Food Council share a vision of producing food that leaves a smaller climate footprint. The government has set up working groups that gather businesses, farmers, scientists, NGOs and consumer groups to iron out conflicts when they arise. Denmark’s influential Plant-Based Business Association, the Plantebranchen, is the largest of its kind in Europe. The ninety members include major producers such as Nestle, Alpro and Oatly as well as small start-ups.  

The Danish government and a host of businesses were solidly represented at Plant Based World Expo in London in November 2022.  The UK Ambassador for Denmark, Rene Dinesen, and the Minister and Minister Counsellor for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Esben Egede Rasmussen gave talks outlining the Danish approach. They explained that governmental support for the green transition is key to solving both environmental and social issues and that changing eating habits is an important part of that.  With so much encouragement it is not surprising that there are some truly innovative plant-based products emerging from Denmark. Here are some of them.  


The company’s organic butter alternative is already on supermarket shelves across Europe. But as we learned at Plant-Based World Expo, they make so much more, including oat, soy and rice drinks, yogurts, meat replacements, and ice cream.  

Calvi-art , by Jens Møller 

Jens Moller and team caviar-substitutes out of seaweed. It comes in three varieties each with a different colour: Cavi-art, made from kelp, a replacement for fish roe ideal for tube caviar or served on blinis, Tosago, designed for sushi and poke bowls, and Food-art, unique seaweed pearls in flavours like balsamic or lemon that add taste and visual interest sprinkled on salads or desserts.  

Aliga Microalgae 

A core food ingredient made from freshwater algae. Grown in fermenters using precision fermentation techniques, the chlorophyll is removed, changing the colour and flavour of the final product. The result is Chlorella, a superfood rich in protein and nutrients that can be added to a wide range of foods. The Chlorella comes in different colours for different applications. For example, white Chlorella can be used as a vegan binder or emulsifier or foaming agents. It can be used in meat and fish substitutes and in baking. Chlorella can also be used in dietary supplements in powder or tablet form.  


A food-tech start-up creating ingredients to make plant-based food taste better, by applying fermentation and other techniques to Danish-grown beans. The aim is to satisfy the umami craving that meat eaters often get when eating plant-based, making it easier for consumers to make the switch.  


Nisco makes ingredients for plant-based food manufacturers from pea protein. Their research and development department helps brands create the best plant protein for their product. They produce extruded pea meals and texturized pea protein in different particle sizes for use in sausages, burgers, meatballs, and ready meals. The protein can also be used in plant-based dairy.  

Organic Plant Protein  

The company makes organic textured protein products in different shapes and sizes from peas and fava beans. They produce protein concentrates using a dry mechanical process. The textured protein comes dry and can be used in burgers and as mince in ready meals.  

The Birch Factory 

Birch sap has been used as a drink in Europe and Asia for centuries and is known for its health properties. The Birch Factory harvests the sap and makes organic birch water in different flavours, still and sparkling. It comes in PET or glass bottles or in ecological recyclable cardboard containers. Look out for Birch tonic water launching soon.  

Foss Analytical 

Foss provides analytical services to food producers. Their instruments measure the fat, protein, solids, moisture composition and other measurables in plant-based foods. This means companies can optimise their recipes for quality, texture and mouth feel and make sure they are consistently producing the most realistic and appetising food possible.  

Upcoming Webinar Featuring Experts From Deliveroo, Meatless Farm, Veg Capital, and More

Tuesday, February 7 at 9am EST (2pm GMT) will see new webinar series, Insider Talks launch live on Plant Based World Pulse. 

The monthly segment will feature key players in the industry as they engage in topical conversations hosted by Indy Kaur, Founder of Plant Futures and former Plant Based Strategy Lead at Tesco. 

The first topic: ‘Celebrating Plant-Based Successes and Planning for The Challenges Ahead’ features:

  • Morten Toft Bech – Founder, Meatless Farm 
  • ElenaDevis - Head of Vegan Category, Deliveroo 
  • RabinderHarrison - Commercial Director, Veg Capital 
  • MarisaHeath - CEO, Plant Based Food Alliance 
  • Simon Day – ex-Squeaky Bean and Investor 


  • How did Deliveroo lead the online delivery market to create a multi-million vegan category? 
  • How Meatless Farm became one of Europes fastest-growing plant-based brands available in over 20 countries, and what challenges lie ahead? 
  • How did Squeaky Bean go from £0 to £15m in under 3 years and what were some of the lessons, as well as the successes? 
  • Why plant-based has attracted so many investors, how they are fuelling change and why investment is becoming harder to find. 
  • Where did the early sales boom come from? And why this will be different going forwards? 
  • Is it only price that drives consumer perceptions of value? What role can taste, health or other benefits play?

The webinars will include behind-the scenes insights from major players in development, manufacturing, foodservice, retail, finance, and advocacy.  

The series aims to give those who work in the plant-based field a space for open and honest conversation about the most pressing topics, challenges and opportunities facing businesses. It is aimed at anyone working in the plant-based field or those who want to support and understand the issues driving success, the hurdles the businesses face and how others have overcome them.  

The series has been created by Plant Based Pulse World Product Manager Damoy Robertson and Indy Kaur, after they identified a need for timely debates about pressing issues.  

Insider Talks is free to attend. Register now to via the link below:

Insider Talks

Market Growth, Plant Based Treaty, Veganuary and More

We’ve trawled the news outlets and our inside sources for the most relevant and up to date plant-based business news. 

Alternative Protein 

The global alternative protein market is set to reach $73.9 billion by 2031, with an annual growth rate of 16.2%, according to a new report by Allied Market Research. The sector generated $16.6 billion in 2021. The report says Demand for plant-based protein is driven largely by a rise in health consciousness  

For those wanting to know more about this dynamic emerging sector and recent developments in the US the Good Food Institute is hosting a virtual seminar with cultivated meat industry experts on 31 Jan.  

Plant-Based Ham 

Plant-based ham is also soaring in popularity according to a report from The plant-based ham market is expected to grow from $494 million to $1000 million by 2028, with a growth rate of around 12.7%. Growth was particularly marked in the US and Europe, especially Germany.  

Fast Food  

The world of vegan fast food is also heading for dramatic growth according to Future Market Insights. VegNews reports that the global fast food market is expected to be worth nearly $28 billion and is expected to rise to $28 billion by 2033. The growth is likely due to changing attitudes towards health, animals, and the environment.  

Veganuary Effect  

The annual vegan challenge has record number of participants. With global figures not yet in, in the UK with one person has been signing up every 2.4 seconds. A YouGov poll found that 71% of British adults has herd of the pledge and more than 21% have taken past since the challenge began in 2014. As for plant-based businesses, there have been some significant new launches in the sector to coincide with the campaign. The Guardian reports that a combination of Veganuary and inflation has led to restaurants cutting down on meat offerings. Figures from Lumina Intelligence show that only 20% of restaurant dishes at restaurant chains last summer contained meat, a drop of four percentage points from last spring.   

Product News  

Cell-based meat Lab grown meat could be in American dinner plates “within months”. Leah Douglas at Reuters reports that in November 2022 the US Food and Drug Administration approved one cultivated meat product, a chicken breast grown by UPSIDE Foods, as safe for human consumption. Upside is now hoping to bring its products to restaurants in 2023 and to supermarkets in 2028.  

Alt-dairy A former space scientist who worked for SpaceX, GoogleX and Impossible Foods has founded a vegan cheese company. Dr Oliver Zahn has raised $27 million and used advanced tech to develop plant-based “moonshot cheeses” that match dairy on taste texture and price.  

Spanish start-up Väcka is making plant-based cheese with fermented melon seeds. Barcelona-based company uses liquid from upcycled seeds in place of almond milk in its Mözza and Chxdder varieties.  

Alt-seafood New Zealand/US firm NewFish will be working with Cawthorn Institute to create and commercialise a fish replacement made from microalgae. The partnership hopes develop a new source of protein to combat the issues of depleted fish stocks and plastic pollution.  

Plant Based Treaty 

Edinburgh is the first European capital city to sign up to the Plant Based Treaty, a grassroots initiative to combat the climate crisis. The treaty will transition schools and council meetings to plant-based food and introduce carbon labelling in restaurants. The Treaty has been endorsed by cities in India, the US, Turkey, and the UK, where the public can email their councillors and to endorse the treaty as an individual or business.  

Public Procurement 

Also in the UK a report from Systemiq and the University of Exeter calls on the government to introduce plant-based food into prisons, schools, hospitals and other state run institutions. They identified public procurement as a “super leverage point” for creating changes in the global food system. Plant Based Treaty are calling on the UK public to email their councillors and request that their city signs up and to endorse the treaty as an individual or business.  


Milltrust Ventures and Earth First Food Ventures are launching a new $300m Smart Protein Fund to support the development of alternative proteins, according to City AM. The new fund aims t enable the scaling up of alternative meat production to help the food industry meet net-zero goals.   

The Grocery Gazette reports that plant-based brands are surging ahead in food sector crowdfunding campaigns. The Seedrs annual report says there is a 24% rise in successful campaigns in the vegan category, with plant-based businesses raising £105.1m in total. 

The Pack, a UK vegan dog food start-up has raised $995,514 in seed-funding from Vevolution and private investors. Backers include Mars, Scelta Mycofriends, Veg Capital and Kale United plus some alternative protein angel investors.  


Plant-based brands are well known for having the most humorous ad campaigns. With new campaigns launched by Allplants, This and Eat Just, Vegconomist looked back at the most creative ads over the past 12 months 

Want to be included in our round up? Send your press releases and updates to [email protected] 

Brand Stories: Reimagining Traditional Italian Cheesemaking

Italy is known for its superior quality food, expertly matching traditional production methods with taste. In 2021, dairy accounted for €4094 million in Italy’s exports, and the country exported more dairy than meat (€3601 million respectively). One of these exports is mozzarella, which is used across the food and beverage industry, most notably for pizza. Over ten years ago, three entrepreneurs recognised the potential for a plant-based alternative and joined forces to create one for the market.   

MozzaRisella is the producer of an innovative range of 100% plant-based cheese made from germinated brown rice sprouts. It is an Italian company that sells in Italy and worldwide. MozzaRisella Classic, their most popular product, is a white springy meltable mozzarella substitute ideal for pizza toppings. It is currently available in wholesalers and retailers: in the UK it is used in high street restaurant chains including Pizza Express, Zizzi and ASK Italia. It is also used on other branded ready meals, and can be sourced from wholesalers CLF, Suma, Wholegood, Bidfood, and Delitalia.  

Pioneering Plant-Based Cheese 

The MozzaRisella story began around 2010 when three entrepreneurs joined forces: Franco Vessio, Andrea Buffolo and Alessandro Menegon. Alessandro Menegon is from an established cheese-making family and was keen to pioneer plant-based cheese in Italy. Franco Vessio and Andrea Buffolo produced sprouted cereals using innovative sustainable techniques. The three combined their expertise to try a new and unique idea – making cheese from rice grown using permaculture techniques. Rice usually uses a lot of water, with seeds and shoots submerged. The founders wanted to grow it in a more environmentally beneficial way. They wanted to avoid the air-mile impact of imported ingredients and the soil degradation of conventional intensive farming. They were particularly inspired by the natural farming principles set out by Masanobu Fukuoka in his book The One Straw Revolution and applied this approach to their own food production methods.  

Sowing the Seeds 

Permaculture principles involve minimum intervention on soil and crop. Chemical fertilizers are not used, reducing damage to the soil and native wildlife. The founders practiced these regenerative farming methods in the mountains of northern Italy, using natural free-flowing spring water to germinate rice seeds. The rice resulting sprouts, known as BioSurice® were made into a rice-milk drink. The company then applied traditional cheese-mongering skills from the dairy cheese-making industry. The rice-milk was put through a cheese-making process using machinery adapted to handle non-dairy inputs. Ingredients were mixed to find to right the balance of acidity and fats to achieve the familiar taste and mouth feel of cheese. The company tested the product and found it had a good texture, consistency, and flavour. It also had a good nutritional value, containing eight essential amino acids and being relatively low in saturated fat compared to coconut and cashew-based cheeses. The company has benefited from private investment and the manufacturing plant in Italy is fully dairy-free which means that the products are suitable for customers with dairy allergies and intolerances. 

Testing the Market 

Around 2011 the first products were launched. The company decided to launch the range in the UK rather than Italy, as London is considered a good testing ground for new innovative foods. Launching in Italy, where the making of mozzarella is a tradition dating back hundreds of years, was more of a challenge. The company worked hard to persuade Italian consumers that the product was not a replacement for traditional cheese but was a different and much needed alternative for those who can’t eat dairy. They did this by launching initially in health food shops where consumers are generally seeking healthy alternatives and are open to different products. Once in health food shops, the brand gained visibility and positive feedback, especially from those with allergies and intolerances. One delighted customer reported that she had been able to enjoy a pizza with her dairy-intolerant grandson for the first time. With the brand more established, mainstream retailers became interested.  

Future Plans 

Mozzarisella now sells a range of ready meals such as pasta dishes made with the rice-cheese in Italian supermarkets. Mozzarisella are now adding a rice-based Parmesan-style hard cheese called GranRi to the line. The strong-tasting hard cheese is aimed at foodservice for use as a topping, grated on to pasta dishes or shaved on to salads. It comes in different sizes including a small pack for retail. The company is also prototyping a feta-style rice-cheese. To learn more visit , Facebook, Instagram , Twitter 

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Plant Based World Pulse is a go-to resource for the plant-based industry. Offering high-value insights, educational content, and the latest information year-round, it compliments the annual industry events Plant Based World Expo North America in New York City and Plant Based World Expo Europe in London.