ENSA – Growing appetite for a healthy and sustainable diet

Introduction

Due to a number of developments in the last few decades the challenges in the food sector have never been bigger than today: a growing population, changing consumption patterns and increasingly scarce resources have entailed that sustainable food has become an important issue in the political and societal debate, especially in Western Europe. The European Commission has highlighted the challenges on this issue: “the food Europe produces and consumes has a significant impact on the environment through, for example, greenhouse gas emissions, the use of land and water resources and pollution. A growing number of analyses question the long-term sustainability of the current trends in the production and consumption of food.” Since its establishment, 10 years ago, the European Natural Soyfoods Manufacturers Association (ENSA) and its members have focused on the importance of sustainable food production and consumption. As President of ENSA, I am convinced that the soy and plant-based sector has a crucial role to play in the necessary shift towards a more healthy and sustainable diet. Having the highest protein content of all crops, soy requires fewer natural resources for the same protein level. For the coming years, it is ENSA’s ambition to explain to society how and why soy and plant-based products can be part of the solution for the challenges that the European Commission has identified. For all of these reasons and on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, ENSA has prepared this reference guide. Our intent is to give an overview of the global food trends and their consequences, including a closer look at soy and plant-based diets. In addition, it examines both the challenges that the European food sector experiences and possible solutions. We have based this analysis on public and independent studies and reports of highly reputed institutions, such as the OECD, the FAO, the IPCC, the European Commission or the WHO. This collection of data guarantees the required objectivity for such an analysis. We have used facts and figures collected by our members only for the chapter ‘Global and EU soy – Supply and Demand’. We truly hope this publication can be the basis of a thorough debate with all stakeholders, on the necessity of a gradual shift to healthier and more sustainable diets in Europe. Any authority or stakeholder will find that ENSA is a partner who welcomes discussions and actions to effectively implement this essential turnaround.

ENSA Reference Guide