The Good Food Institute promotes plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs as well as cultivated meat, as alternatives to the products of conventional animal agriculture. We’re innovating lab-grown in-vitro and plant-based meat alternatives to animal products.
GFI has a team of scientists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and lobbyists, all of whom are laser focused on using markets and food technology to transform our food system away from factory farmed animal products and toward cultivated meat and plant-based alternatives.
The Good Food Institute (GFI) is an international 501(c)(3) nonprofit that promotes plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs as well as cultivated meat (also known as cultured meat and cell-based meat), as alternatives to the products of conventional animal agriculture. GFI has roughly 70 staff in the United States, plus affiliates in India, Israel, Brazil, Asia Pacific, and Europe. GFI engages scientists, policymakers, and entrepreneurs to advance plant-based products and cellular agriculture. GFI creates open-access resources and publishes scientific research about plant-based and cell-based meat technology. The nonprofit also helps established food service providers, restaurants, major meat producers, and food companies to expand into alternative proteins. In September, GFI holds § The Good Food Conference to "[accelerate] the marketplace for plant-based and cell-based meat." A primary focus of the Good Food Institute is lessening global warming, antimicrobial resistance, global poverty, and intensive animal farming by influencing industry, scientists, investors, entrepreneurs, and policymakers.
Advancing the science of plant-based and cell-based meat is one of GFI's primary focus areas. In 2018, GFI launched a competitive research grant program to fund open-access research for the development of these technologies. Three million dollars, split among 14 research projects, were awarded in the 2018 funding cycle.
GFI's State of the Industry Report showed that more than $16 billion has been invested in U.S. plant-based meat, egg, and dairy companies over the past 10 years, with $13 billion of those investments made during 2017 and 2018 alone. GFI commissioned custom data on the U.S. retail sales of plant-based products designed to replace animal-based products from market research firm Nielsen Corporation in 2017 and 2018. The 2018 data release showed U.S. retail sales of plant-based products grew 17% to over $3.7 billion, measured over a 52-week period ending August 11, 2018. Plant-based meat sales grew by 23%.
According to GFI's State of the Industry Reports eleven new cell-based meat companies were founded in 2018, making total number of publicly announced companies 27. In September 2018, GFI released the results of a consumer survey assessing various names for cell-based meat on the criteria of differentiation, descriptiveness, appeal, and purchase intent. Working with research firm Datassential, GFI surveyed 1,004 consumers to test the terms "clean meat," "cell-based meat," "craft meat," "cultured meat", and "slaughter-free meat." Overall, the term "slaughter-free meat" performed best across the established criteria.
Nonprofit research firm Faunalytics partnered with GFI to measure consumer attitudes towards clean meat when presented with information about its environmental and societal benefits. Sixty-six percent of respondents said they would try clean meat; 53% would eat it instead of conventionally produced meat; 46% would buy it regularly; 40% would be willing to pay more for it.
The Good Food Conference
GFI holds an annual conference convening leaders across the plant-based and cell-based industries, research community, venture capital, tech sector, and traditional food industry. The Good Food Conference is held in the Bay Area in September.
In June 2016, GFI filed a lawsuit in a D.C. federal court demanding that the FDA turn over all records related to its regulation of the term "soy milk," after the agency failed to respond to several Freedom of Information Act requests GFI submitted in April 2016. According to Politico's Morning Agriculture report, GFI wants the FDA to formally "allow the use of the term 'soy milk,' and says the agency's inconsistency on the matter has led to 'consumer confusion and an uneven competitive landscape.'"
Against the USDA
After filing three Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain documents from the USDA related to its open investigation of the American Egg Board's allegedly anti-competitive actions against egg-free Mayo company, Hampton Creek, GFI sued the agency on Monday, August 8, 2016, for failing to respond to the requests in full. According to an article on Vice Motherboard, GFI filed FOIA requests in December for meeting minutes and budgetary documents from the Egg Board, but was only given access to documents that had already been made public.
Against the State of Missouri
In August 2018, GFI, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, and Tofurky filed a civil rights action against the state of Missouri, challenging a law that prohibits "misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry." Violating the statute is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by jail terms of up to one year, a fine up to $1,000, or both. GFI argued that this law infringes on freedom of speech and is anticompetitive, citing Missouri legislator Senator Sandy Crawford's comment: "We wanted to protect our cattlemen in Missouri and protect our beef brand."
Against the State of Arkansas
Similar to Missouri, in 2019 Arkansas passed Act 501 "To Require Truth in Labeling of Agricultural Products that Are Edible by Humans" which prohibited product labels to use terminology for foods traditionally associated with animal products such as "veggie burger". In July 2019, the Good Food Institute, American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, and Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against the law on behalf of Tofurky, a brand that creates meat replacement products from wheat protein and tofu.
In September 2016, the Open Philanthropy Project awarded GFI a $1,000,000 grant for general support. In 2017, OPP renewed this grant for general support at $1,500,000. These grants were made under OPP's farm animal welfare effort, which is one of their major focus areas given the large number of farmed animals subject to considerable suffering.
Animal Charity Evaluators Review
Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) named GFI as a Top Charity (the charity watchdog's highest ranking) in its annual animal charity recommendations in November 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. The 2018 ACE review lists GFI's strengths as its potential to decrease demand for animal products—possibly much more rapidly than moral arguments—as well as its leadership and strategic vision. Its weaknesses, according to ACE, include GFI's relatively short track record and the unknowns in the timeline for commercializing cost-competitive cell-based meat.
Effective Altruism Foundation
Double Up Drive, a donation matching challenge organized as part of the Effective Altruism Foundation's Raising for Effective Giving project, selected GFI as one of ten "highly impactful" charities to receive matching funds during their 2017 and 2018 campaigns.
ARLINGTON, VA 22207-1640 | Tax-exempt since April 2016
Classification (NTEE) Professional Societies, Associations (Food, Agriculture and Nutrition)
Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501(c)(3) Defined as: Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
Donations to this organization are tax deductible.