Protein First Initiative

By the year 2050, the world population will reach an estimated 9-billion people, creating a demand for protein that is much higher than it is today. U.S. soy together with animal agriculture partners are committed to nourishing global nutrition through a global food security initiative called “Protein First”. It prioritizes high-quality protein for human diets and for animal feed.

Keenan McRoberts is a vice president of meal strategy at the United Soybean Board. He says it’s a platform for communication.

"With the growing emphasis on plant-based protein, we see a lot of buzz right now in that space, we acknowledge that U.S. soy can play a critical role in that process together with partners both in the animal agriculture and plant protein space," says McRoberts. "So, we’re reaffirming our commitment to animal agriculture partners while also positioning U.S soy as a preferred protein in the plant protein space."

Soybean farmers play a critical role in providing a sustainable protein. Based on the world’s growing population, McRoberts is optimistic that growers will see a higher demand from emerging markets.

"That positions U.S. soy and other complimentary sources of protein very well to fill that gap," he says. "Through partnerships with the World Initiative for Soy and Human Health, they’re really focused on building those trade opportunities in emerging markets and places like sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia. That’s going to drive the majority of global demand growth. Right now today, there’s a protein supply demand gap globally, and it’s increasing."

The goal is to include protein in foods ranging from soy inside tortillas and bread, to animal feed for fish, poultry and livestock.