Key findings

  • Alternative proteins enjoyed another year of impressive commitments and groundbreaking developments from governments and regulatory agencies in 2023.
    • Two companies sold cultivated meat in the United States for the first time, with regulatory green lights from both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
    • Public entities across the globe stepped up their investments in developing the alternative protein sector, including in much-needed infrastructure.
  • Altogether, GFI estimates that newly announced global public funding for alternative proteins amounted to $523 million in 2023, for an all-time investment total of $1.67 billion.
    • Of 2023’s total, governments announced $190 million for research and development, $162 million for commercialization, and $170 million for initiatives that mixed elements of both.
    • This level of investment represents continued growth in support for alternative proteins across the globe.
  • Despite alternative proteins’ benefits for people and the planet, 2023 also brought challenges to producers’ rights to create, sell, and advertise alternative proteins on the free market.
  • Overall, government support for alternative proteins continued to expand and diversify in 2023. However, even more support is necessary to deliver the benefits that alternative proteins promise. Governments need to invest $10.1 billion in alternative proteins on an annual basis to realize their economic and climate benefits. The estimated $348 million spent in 2023 satisfies less than 4 percent of this need.

“Foodtech, including cellular foods, is an important technology from the perspective of realizing a sustainable food supply. We have to support efforts that contribute to solving the world’s food problems.”

Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida

Illustration of world map showing countries that have adopted policies affecting the alternative proteins field.
The following governments have adopted a range of policies supporting alternative proteins: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Emerging leaders 

Stars of 2023

These countries dramatically increased their investments in alternative proteins in 2023, rising above their peers:

  • The United Kingdom announced a new cellular agriculture research hub, funded over 20 research projects, and included cultivated meat in a national biotechnology plan.
  • Germany announced a €38 million program to develop alternative protein production capacity and incentivize alternative protein uptake among consumers and producers.

“We can see that the market is growing, in Denmark we are not only farmers but also businessmen.”

Jacob Jensen, Danish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries

Leading public investment

These governments invested in alternative proteins with world-leading R&D and commercialization funding:

Pol23019 sogpr page canada
Pol23019 sogpr page eu
Pol23019 sogpr page denmark

Leading in regulation

These countries are leading the development of thorough, fair, and timely regulation of alternative proteins:

Pol23019 sogpr page israel
Pol23019 sogpr page singapore
Pol23019 sogpr page us

“Collaborations in the field of alternative proteins can increase sustainable food production, strengthen corporate competitiveness, provide new job opportunities, and develop future skills supply. It might enable increased export opportunities as well as a higher rate of self-sufficiency, resilience, and preparedness.”

Food tech call on alternative proteins for R&D and innovation projects between Sweden, Israel, Switzerland and Singapore

Powering plant-based

These countries support the development of plant-based proteins, boosting local agriculture and manufacturing:

Pol23019 sogpr page australia
Pol23019 sogpr page france
Pol23019 sogpr page new zealand

“Our aim is to support the arable crop processors of Aotearoa. We want to inspire entrepreneurs in the emerging proteins sector to become successful international suppliers of high-value plant-based food ingredients.”

AgResearch senior scientist Alistair Carr

Advancing cultivated meat and fermentation

These countries are building up biotechnology, supporting the future of food with research and infrastructure:

Pol23019 sogpr page finland
Pol23019 sogpr page israel
Pol23019 sogpr page netherlands
Pol23019 sogpr page singapore 1
Pol23019 sogpr page south korea
Pol23019 sogpr page us

“This initiative aims to ensure that cutting-edge products resulting from biotechnology invented in the United States are manufactured in the United States. By doing so, we will create jobs at home, build stronger supply chains, and lower prices for American families.”

The White House “Building the Bioworkforce of the Future” report

Countries to watch

These countries are laying the groundwork for significant investment:

Pol23019 sogpr page brazil
Pol23019 sogpr page china
Pol23019 sogpr page india
Pol23019 sogpr page japan
Pol23019 sogpr page south africa
Pol23019 sogpr page spain

​​At the end of the day, producing in China means having that infrastructure at a relatively lower cost and this is a key advantage. It’s really going to be about leveraging that supply chain and going overseas, that’s the story as we see it.”

Ziliang Yang, CEO of Shanghai cultivated meat company CellX

Public funding tracker

Browse our database of all known public investments in alternative proteins through the end of 2023. GFI’s topline figures include information provided confidentially to GFI on public funding, including from governments not listed in this report; therefore, the publicly-available data provided in this tracker will not equal the sum of the listed subtotals.

Looking up through legislative building columns at sky

Sign up for our policy newsletter

Protein Innovation Nation is a monthly newsletter covering local and national updates around public research funding, regulation, legislation, and labeling.

Icon with two hands around a heart

Support our work

Our alternative protein research, insights, and advocacy are made possible thanks to our generous, global family of donors. Philanthropic support is vital to our mission. Connect with us today to discuss how you can help fuel this transformative work.

Related resources

Chickpea farmer and field

Alternative proteins ensure American competitiveness

Plant based foods have gained momentum and notable market share. Read our report explaining why the U.S. should build up a domestic alternative protein industry.

Overhead view of road in forest

A global protein transition is necessary to keep warming below 1.5°C

Learn why alternative protein innovation is crucial to meeting the Paris Agreement temperature target and how we can accelerate progress.

Woman leading a meeting


Find market opportunities, open-access resources, and tailored guidance for producing and selling alternative proteins.

Photo of hands holding lentils

Alternative proteins for a sustainable, secure, and prosperous future

Alternative proteins create a path to a sustainable, secure, and prosperous future. Policymakers should prioritize investments to improve the quality, affordability, and accessibility of alternative proteins.

A photo of hands holding rice grains

Alternative proteins are a global food security solution

Amid a global grain shortage and skyrocketing food prices, alternative proteins can make the global food system more efficient and resilient.

Previous year reports