France is planning to invest EUR1bn over the next five years to become "a world leader" in the field of proteins.

The French government has teamed up with the Protéines France1 consortium - which includes French agri-food groups such as Avril, Tereos and Terrena - to implement what the Ministry of Agriculture called "a strategic development programme of research, investment and support designed to make France a world leader in proteins".

"The shared ambition is to make France a world leader in proteins and seize the growth and job creation opportunities offered by the increase in demand for vegetable and animal proteins worldwide of more than 40% by 2030," the ministry said.

The ministry added France wanted to reduce its dependence on protein imports. "Over the next five years, the consortium and the state estimate human, material and financial resources, public and private, representing an investment of EUR1bn are necessary to meet this challenge."

Projects will be supported by the state in their fund-raising efforts through agencies such as public investment bank (BPI).

The programme is to support agricultural and industrial research to develop "high-quality and diverse functional proteins" and help "to accelerate investment" in production, as well as "encourage the creation of start-ups in the sector and assist in bringing innovative products to market".

Commenting on the state-industry agreement, which was officially inked at the SIAL trade show in Paris yesterday, Jean-Philippe Girard, the président of French food industry association, the ANIA, said: "I applaud the government's support for our [Protéines France 1 consortium] programme which aims to position France among the world leaders by 2030."