Share article:
Share article:

Wallonia aims to become major producer of meat substitutes

Duckweed, a potentiaal source of plant protein for humans. © Wikimedia

The Walloon region is planning to use part of its share of the EU subsidy for industrial relaunch to take 5% of the European market for plant-based proteins used as meat substitutes.

The market for meat replacements is a growing one, as people turn away from a meat-based diet to a vegetarian or even vegan lifestyle.

Now two of the region’s investment funds, Sogepa and SRIW, are making plans for the launch in the second quarter of this year of a start-up called NewCo, whose business will be the extraction of proteins from plants to turn into meat substitutes.

The plan is one concrete result of a massive brain-storming session where experts in Wallonia identified 30 industrial sectors which showed promise as targets for relaunch, using funding from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

That is a package worth €672.5 billion for the entire EU; €5.95 billion for Belgium, of which €1.48 billion for Wallonia.
According to a market study, NewCo could expect to claim 5% of the EU market in meat substitutes, leading to turnover of €300million by 2030, and a workforce of more than 300 FTEs.

“Crucial to the success of this project is product development, which must be in line with customer tastes, setting up a sales network and brand positioning,” said Renaud Mitmeur, CEO of Sogepa.

Before then, in the period 2022-2024, NewCo would require investment of anywhere between €6 million and €15 million for infrastructure, product and brand development and market research.

In the meantime, as NewCo reaches cruising speed, a supply chain surrounding the company would be created, from agricultural producers supplying the raw materials to food processing companies to extract the proteins.

“There are already a lot of companies who can play a role in this chain. They do have to be connected. If we stand still, we will continue to eat more plant-based foods, but those products will not be produced by us,” said François Héroufosse, general manager of Wagralim, the Walloon cluster of the agri-food industry.

“The vegetable protein sector is on the rise,” said Walloon minister for agriculture Willy Borsus (MR).

“If Wallonia does not occupy a place in it, others will do so, without it creating jobs for our region. This project should enable us to become a major player in the meat substitute sector.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Belgium in Brief: A Consultative Committee Sequel
Sequels often have a lot to live up to and when it comes to movie franchises, it gets difficult to keep up the hype once you get towards the final ...
25 years ago today: 300,000 people marched in white against child abuse
On this day 25 years ago, over 300,000 people marched in Brussels to demand a more effective justice system and to support the families of Julie, ...
Windy weather forecast should lower gas prices
After weeks of relatively calm conditions, a return to windy weather should lower Europe's soaring energy prices. Wind turbines in the UK and Germany ...
EC calls on candidate countries to focus on fundamental reforms before they can join the EU
The Commission adopted yesterday its 2021 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by the ...
Cigarette-eating robot patrols Ghent streets to fight littering
A litter fighting (and eating) robot will be patrolling the streets of Ghent in the coming weeks in an effort to raise awareness of the growing ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...
Brussels Airport becomes shareholder in SkeyDrone
The Brussels Airport company has signed an agreement to become a 50 percent shareholder in SkeyDrone, a subsidiary of skeyes, the Belgian Air ...
Two former Belgian top executives plead guilty to bid manipulation in the US
Two former Belgian top executives of the security company G4S have pleaded guilty in the US to bid rigging, according to reporting from De Tijd. ...
8 arrested in Belgium and Luxembourg for fraud and social dumping
On Tuesday, around 80 police investigators and 26 social investigators made a series of simultaneous arrests in Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg as part ...
More than 5,500 people took part in the citizens’ consultation on road safety
Over 5,500 people took part in a citizens’ consultation on road safety for Belgium between July and October, according to Belga News Agency. The ...
Coronavirus: Nearly 1,000 patients hospitalised, 80 admissions a day on average
Between October 10 and 16, an average of 3,151 people were infected with Covid-19 every day, according to figures from the Sciensano Public Health ...
‘More concern and false impressions’: colds are not worse than before, experts say
While it seems like cold viruses are hitting especially hard this autumn, with more severe and longer-lasting symptoms, doctors are saying that this ...