Outcomes experienced by companies included closer partnerships with other brands (50%) in order to outsmart the challenges raised by the war, as well as closer internal collaboration between finance, production, and logistics departments within businesses.
Stephanie Jaczniakowska-McGirr, International head of food industry and retail at ProVeg, said: “It’s clear for all of us to see that the war is having a devastating effect on the lives of many people in Ukraine.”
“The war has also had a major impact on the plant-based sector, which is facing challenges in terms of ingredient supply, although we know that this will affect the food industry as a whole and not just plant-based companies. It is good to see that companies are joining forces to overcome these challenges.”
Other key findings from ProVeg’s survey included: 61% thought that the crisis would accelerate the green energy transition; 61% reported higher prices for raw ingredients; and 69% said that it would remain difficult to recruit skilled workers for the sector. A full list can be found in the box bnelow.
In response to these findings, ProVeg made three recommendations for the Government to help ease the burden of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
First, it called for the EU to continue to implement the Farm to Fork strategy to support sustainable food production.
“In light of the impact of the war on the plant-based sector, we believe it is the right time to implement the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy to accelerate the transition towards a more plant-based diet,” Jaczniakowska-McGirr added.
Long-term food security
“Enhancing and supporting the plant-based sector also holds the key to improved long-term food security, since it means that the grain that currently goes into animal feed will go directly towards human consumption instead.”
Second, ProVeg wished to see an end to VAT discrimination across Europe towards plant-based alternatives to dairy products. Jaczniakowska-McGirr pointed to the unfair practice of applying reduced VAT rates to dairy milk that resulted in dairy products from animals being fiscally favoured over their plant-based alternatives.
Finally, the Government should provide support for plant-based companies where needed. This was based on comments from 50% of the companies surveyed that indicated they would be interested in Government aid.
“These survey results are important to us in order to better inform proposals directed at policymakers, thus ensuring that the plant-based industry receives the support it needs,” Jaczniakowska-McGirr concluded.