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Good Food Institute: Recommendation

Good Food Institute: Recommendation

Last updated in November 2023.

The Good Food Institute (GFI) promotes alternatives to conventional livestock products through its science, policy, and corporate engagement workstreams. GFI is one of the top climate nonprofits selected by Giving Green in 2023.

Livestock emissions play an outsized role in food emissions and are expected to increase. Our take is that shifting demand from carbon-intensive conventional livestock products to alternative proteins (APs), such as plant-based and cultivated meat, is one of the most promising pathways to decrease emissions from agriculture and land use. GFI is a nonprofit that seeks to make APs competitive with conventional meat in terms of price and taste.[1] It supports AP development in the US and abroad.

We recommend GFI based on its accomplishments, organizational strengths, and strategic approach. We think GFI plays a unique and important role in promoting APs. We believe that a successful AP market will majorly impact direct emissions from livestock and land use emissions. We believe GFI has substantial room to grow in its three programmatic areas and across its various offices and that it will increase the likelihood of APs going mainstream. Since AP production is still in its early stages, we plan to continue to monitor APs’ climate impact and look forward to following GFI’s efforts in this space.

We previously recommended GFI in 2022.

For more information, see our deep dive research report, a summary below, and our broader food sector deep dive report.

What is the Good Food Institute?

GFI is a nonprofit that seeks to make APs competitive with conventional proteins in terms of price and taste. It is headquartered in the US with independent affiliate offices in the Asia Pacific region, Brazil, Europe, India, and Israel. It was launched in 2016.

How could GFI help address climate change?

Livestock emissions include direct emissions from livestock, such as methane release from cows, and indirect emissions, such as land use change for pasture or animal feed. Reducing livestock production could be an important lever for driving down these emissions and could potentially free up some land for carbon sequestration. We think that making APs equal to or better than conventional meat could make them the default choice for more consumers. In turn, this could nudge them towards a more climate-friendly diet.

What does GFI do?

GFI has three focus areas: science, policy, and industry. Its science-focused activities include identifying research gaps, regranting, advocating for open-access research, and convening scientists. Its policy workstream includes advocating for increased federal funding for AP research and development, fighting for fair label laws, and establishing a clear path to market for cultivated meat. Its industry work includes supporting smaller AP startups and building relationships with large agro-food companies to encourage them to invest in AP products.

What has GFI accomplished historically?

GFI’s advocacy has helped increase public funding for AP R&D. Highlights include the €370 million EUR ($390 million USD) that European governments invested in AP R&D in 2022 alone. It has also achieved victories in several labeling law initiatives and established a talent and training network for the AP industry under its Alt Protein Project.

What’s new at GFI in 2023?

GFI’s work in 2023 includes its role in securing millions in research and development funding for APs in the UK and EU. It also expanded the Alt Protein Project network from 36 universities in 2022 to 53. GFI also started a new collaboration with climate-focused foundations and nonprofits to promote the role of APs as a climate solution, with a short-term emphasis on COP28.

What would GFI do with your donation?

GFI would use additional funding to expand internationally–including building new GFI Japan and GFI Korea branches and hiring additional staff in Europe–and growing its core activities.

Why is Giving Green excited about GFI?

We think GFI has been a powerhouse in AP thought leadership and action with impressive wins. We believe donations to GFI will help improve the odds of APs achieving price and taste parity with conventional meat, with potential implications for reduced emissions and land use change.

Donate to support GFI's vision of a world where alternative proteins are no longer alternative.

GFI has 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) entities. As Giving Green is part of IDinsight, which is itself a charitable, tax-exempt organization, we are only offering an opinion on the charitable activities of GFI’s 501(c)(3) arm, and not on GFI’s 501(c)(4) entity. This is a non-partisan analysis (study or research) and is provided for educational purposes.

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