The leaders of several companies pioneering fungi fermentation for food sustainability purposes have united to form a new trade association: The Fungi Protein Association (FPA).
The FPA will represent the interests of its member companies, including advocating for fungi protein in public policy, conducting consumer research, and more. Founding members of the association include Quorn, Nature’s Fynd, Enough, The Better Meat Co., The Protein Brewery, Prime Roots, Mycotechnology, Aqua Cultured Foods, Mush Foods, Mycorena, ProVeg and the Good Food Institute.
Just as there are many ways to create energy without fossil fuels—wind, solar, geothermal, and more—there are many ways to recreate meat, egg, and milk experiences without animals. Many companies are turning plant proteins like soy, wheat, and pea into plant-based meats. Some are cultivating animal cells in the hopes of bringing those foods to market in the coming years. But fungi—a separate kingdom of life altogether—offer a different and additional way to bring sustainable, delicious protein to the world.
In fact, a 2022 study in Nature found that replacing just 20 percent of beef with microbial protein – the products FPA members are pioneering - could cut global deforestation by a whopping 50 percent.
While mushrooms have been used for centuries as meat replacements, various methods of fungi fermentation are creating a new crop of high-protein, high-fiber, meat alternatives. In addition to Quorn’s leadership of the fungi fermentation space for decades, dozens of start-ups founded in the past several years have mushroomed into a newly emerging multi-player industry.
In the UK alone, the sale of meat substitutes has grown from £390m in 2018 to £650m in 2021, with sales of mycoprotein products expected to grow at 12.6% CAGR between 2022 and 2032.
“The world needs more protein, and fungi fermentation offers a delicious, sustainable way to do just that,” said Marco Bertacca of Quorn Foods. “We’re excited to partner with our fellow fungi enthusiasts to raise awareness and appreciation of the wonderful ways fungi can improve human health and the health of our planet.”
“It is widely recognised that we need new ways to produce food, and we believe fungi are the future. Joining forces with other actors within the segment is a way to establish fungi as the next-generation protein to enable sustainability, health, and food security. We believe this new initiative will drive the real change in the food system, and we are very excited to be a part of it.” said Ramkumar Nair, Founder & CEO of Mycorena.