November 22, 2022

Protein transition in Gelderland: above average activity and economic impact

Over the past five years, activity in The Province of Gelderland (the Netherlands) surrounding the protein transition has grown above average. This is evident from a monitor developed by The Protein Community and the province of Gelderland. The monitor ultimately aims to provide insight into the economic impact of the protein transition on a national scale.

Protein transition: sustainable industry in development

The Protein Transition – restoring the balance in the production and consumption of (less) animal and (more) vegetable protein – is high on the government’s agenda because of its value for climate, careful use of raw materials and health. Underlying this is a developing industry that aims to make sustainable protein ingredients, products and technologies available to consumers and industry. Little is known about the current and future economic value of this industry. The recently celebrated 5th anniversary of The Protein Community (TPC) – founded in 2017 by Foodvalley NL, the provinces of Gelderland, Overijssel and East NL – has been used to gain more insight into this.

Above average growth Gelderland

As a pilot, the developments in employment, the number of companies and the economic value for Gelderland were mapped out. This is based on the TPC-database with Dutch companies active in the protein transition, as well as the results of the annual Provincial Employment Survey (PWE). The results show above-average growth: the number of jobs at the identified group of 66 companies grew in Gelderland from 1,730 in 2017 to 1,920 in 2021, a growth of 11.2%. 29 of these plant based protein companies are partner of The Protein Community. By way of comparison: in the province, the development of all sectors was 6.9% in the period. It is also striking that the added value of the protein companies is well above 100 million euros. The total number of companies active in this sector in Gelderland has increased by 70% in the past 5 years to 75 companies in 2021.

Helga Witjes, deputy of the province of Gelderland for Economy, responds enthusiastically: “We are focusing on the theme of protein transition for 5 years. It is great to see that the efforts are also translating into positive economic effects.”

Marjolein Brasz, director of Foodvalley NL, calls for the monitoring tool to be further developed and widely deployed: ‘The method combines existing databases and surveys and offers the opportunity to also provide insight into the socio-economic effects of the protein transition. This is necessary to gain broad support. The monitor also provides wonderful insight into the opportunities that the protein transition offers, in the Netherlands and beyond.