The Good Food Institute is a non-profit working internationally to accelerate alternative protein innovation and in doing so, to make sustainable food options the default choice for consumers. Their work is becoming more important, as the latest data from the UN shows that global meat production is set to double by 2050 to meet the needs of the growing population.
The Good Food Institute works to make plant-based and cultivated meat delicious, affordable and accessible. Its goal in doing so is to mitigate the environmental impact of our food system, reduce the risk of disease and ultimately feed a greater number of people with fewer resources.
We spoke to Sophie Armour, Communications Manager at GFI Europe, to find out about her experience of being matched with SeoFly through Tech To The Rescue.
Hi Sophie. Could you tell us a little about The Good Food Institute and your role?
Sure. Our goal is to transform meat production, and to do it in an effective, scalable way. Most people’s food choices are made based on taste, price and convenience. We’re looking to create more sustainable, plant-based and cultivated meat options which fulfill all three of these factors. We think that in doing so we can have a huge positive impact on the planet, on nature and biodiversity, and also help feed more people. We work with scientists, with policy makers and with the industry to get them to invest in these common goals.
I manage the Communications Team. We look after the website, social media and PR in Europe, where we’re still relatively new, but our sister organization in the US was founded five years ago.
Great. And how big is GFI at present? What’s your global reach?
On a global scale, GFI has staff in the US, in Brazil, in Europe, Israel, India and Asia Pacific. There are around 150 staff globally. In Europe, our policy team does a lot of work at the EU level in Brussels, but also at a national level. For example, in 2020, the EU tried to place a ban on using terms such as ‘burger’ and ‘sausage’ in relation to plant-based foods. We worked hard to campaign against that alongside other key organizations in the sector. Ultimately the European Parliament voted against the ban, which was fantastic.
We also work with many companies to try to help them develop plant-based products. There are now companies such as Nestle investing in cultivated meat. JBS has also just acquired a Spanish cultivated meat company. Many big corporations are now taking plant-based innovation very seriously and it’s great to have played a part in that.
Could you tell us a bit about why you were looking to create a new website?
GFI is a global organization and we have affiliates in each of the countries that we’re present in. But in Europe we’re relatively new and we didn’t actually have our own website yet, so we were leaning a lot on the US website. But obviously the European market is very different and we wanted to have some key documents and messaging on a dedicated site for this region. We also wanted to counteract the impression that we were a US-only organization. Many people weren’t aware that we had this expertise in European policy specifically.
So we set up our own website, but we didn’t have much in-house experience of making sure that we have strong SEO, and that our materials were getting to the top of Google searches. On top of that we had the challenge that a lot of our content was similar to content on the US website, but tailored to the European market. So we wondered how we could present this copy alongside its US counterpart without the two cannibalizing each other from an SEO perspective.
And how did you hear about Tech To The Rescue?
I actually got a message on LinkedIn from one of the founders. It was excellent timing as I was already planning the website. We had the in-house developers, but just having that specialist SEO knowledge was really helpful and exactly what we needed.
What were the beginnings of the partnership like?
I had an initial call with the team at SeoFly, which Tech To The Rescue had matched us with. I’d already written the proposal and what we were looking for. I was very pleased to hear that they could help. From the initial meeting, it was only a couple of weeks before they got to work.
Were there any roadblocks that you experienced?
There were some elements that I didn’t really anticipate and we got to learn about them, which was super helpful. I didn’t realize that there were so many aspects to SEO beyond getting the right phrases in the copy. It’s all about what format the headings are in, making sure that they’re in the right order for the crawler to understand, and getting all your photo captions and metadata in order. Those are all the things that I might have skipped over if I was just doing this myself. The team at SeoFly produced a really useful full report on every single page of our website. I was so impressed.
And what impact have you seen since the website went live?
The website has been live since the end of August 2021. It’s grown massively, and we continue to apply the same principles to new content as the ones that we learnt from SeoFly. Since launch, web traffic from search engines is up by 300%. But one of the most impactful things that have come out of the website is the ability to host our own job advertisements. We’re still in start-up mode in Europe and we’re looking to scale rapidly, so the website is instrumental to us in attracting that much needed new talent.
What surprised you the most in the whole experience of being matched with a tech partner?
I think it has to be all the technical SEO tips and tricks which really make such a huge difference. Without the help of SeoFly we just wouldn’t have been able to achieve this and get to where we are right now with the website. We were also given the right knowledge and tools to do it ourselves in the future, which is important as we are rapidly growing our team in the EU.
Thank you so much for your time.
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