Prospective cultivation Area of Field Peas used in Animal Meat Substitutes in the EU

Marcus Mergenthaler, Bruno Kezeya Sepngang, Wolfgang Stauss, Frédéric Muel


Meat alternatives from leguminous raw materials are expected to play an increasing role in human nutrition.
The US Company Beyond Meat entered the EU retail market in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany with a
pea-based vegan burger patty in 2019 which is seen as accelerating the trend towards plant-based meat
alternatives in the EU. Pea protein isolate is the protein basis of the Beyond Meat burger patty. The raw
material basis for the protein isolate can be assumed to be peas from the northern states of the US and from
Canada. Additional global cultivation areas and additional general cultivation potential for peas are forecasted
for the short to medium term. European peas may become increasingly used as raw materials in the future if
the expected market growth evolves with a regional origin of the raw materials. This would result in additional
sales potential for EU legume producers with growing cultivation areas. The aim of the present study is to
estimate the prospective area of peas for pea-based meat alternatives in the EU within a simple model
calculation. Various data sources were used to estimate the cultivation potential. In addition, plausible
assumptions were made in case of unavailable data. To estimate future consumption shares, an expert panel
was interviewed as part of the European joint project LegValue. Based on per capita consumption of animal
meat, consumption volumes of pea-based meat alternatives were estimated. With a consumption share of 2 %
for pea-based meat alternatives in the EU, the effects on the production volume and pea cultivation area
remain relatively small. With an increased consumption share of pea-based meat alternatives of 12.5 % the pea
cultivation area would rise to almost 100 % compared to the current cultivated area. By the third scenario with
a consumption of 40 % pea-based meat, the cultivated area would triple. However, the additional share of the
pea cultivation area in the total arable area in the EU would be only a small additional increase. Thus, increased
pea cultivation would only have minor effects on competition for agricultural land. If pea-meat replaced animal
meat, land used for animal feed production would become available.

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ISSN 2194-511X


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