Co-developing solutions to achieve a just protein transition
Presenting a unique opportunity to unite civil society actors working across the food system and co-create a shared vision for a just, sustainable and humane food system, 50by40 and World Animal Protection partnered together to host the Just Protein Transition in Asia Summit.
The three-day summit held on 28-30 March 2022 saw representatives from over 40 regional civil society organisations working on shifting the protein system in Asia. The ultimate outcome was a Communique outlining a four-point Call to Action to world leaders at COP27 and UNFCCC member countries to address the urgent need to transform the way we produce protein away from industrial animal agriculture and towards a just, sustainable, humane and equitable food system. You can read more about the Communique by clicking the button below.
A first of its kind, the summit hosted an impressive line-up of speakers such as Ajay Vir Jakhar from Farmer’s Forum India, Kate Blaszak from Asia Research and Engagement and Guna Subramaniam from Institute for Human Rights and Business, among others. Highlighting the importance of inclusion in such a transition, Guna Subramaniam mentioned how a just transition would be possible only if no one is left behind.
Alongside civil society organisations, the summit also saw panel discussions and presentations by organisations like Good Food Institute India, Avant Meats and Good Dot, working in the front line of the protein transition by bringing plant-based protein solutions to the consumers!
But why a Just Protein Transition?
The current industrialised livestock production systems are neither able to guarantee access to safe and affordable protein to all nor provide an adequate livelihood for farmers engaged in local production. This failing system, supported by perverse financial incentives, is also fuelling global issues and sources of major global concerns, including spreading disease, antimicrobial resistance, deforestation, climate change and acute animal suffering.
Asia, currently the largest meat-producing region in the world, accounts for around 45% of the global meat production, with significant growth in the production of pork and poultry forecast over the next ten years. This increase is, however, currently being met by an expansion of factory farming in Asia.
As a fast-growing part of the global economy, Asia can lead the way towards a food system transformation that meets the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The Just Protein Transition in Asia Summit thus aimed to explore the rise of sustainable, humane and just protein systems in South Asia, South East Asia & East Asia.
In the weeks leading up to the summit, five pre-summit conversations brought together representatives from 40 regional civil societies working on climate, change, public health, finance, smallholder, human and consumer rights, to map out the negative impacts our current protein system has on these different thematics, and to identify potential pathways for a shift toward a just, humane and sustainable protein system in Asia on the principles of equity and fair shares.
The inputs received during these conversations helped draft the Communique later presented at the Summit.
Hear from the Speakers
Madhumitha Ardhanari, from Forum for the Future stated
“We need to widen the vision of the protein system beyond the focus of mere efficiency, to include economic models that enable social and environmental thriving alongside the economic needs of the system. ”
Carrie Chan, from Avant Meats, said,
90% of the marine ecosystems are already exploited. If we do not do anything to substitute this harvesting from the ocean with plant-based or cell-based alternatives, oceans will be fishless by 2048.”
By bringing stakeholders working on different areas of the food system to align and co-develop solutions, the recommendations from the Communique can help achieve true systemic change.